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PHOTO CAPTION: Audi A3 e-tron charging port in front grill.

Test Drive: Audi A3 e-tron Plug-In Hybrid

David Undercoffler concludes the A3 e-tron's success will depend on how Audi prices the electric hybrid that has an EV-range of up to 30+ miles.

Published: 12-Feb-2014

Same great hatchback flavor. Now with less fuel!

That’s the theme behind Audi’s forthcoming 2015 A3 Sportback e-tron, a compact hatchback due in early 2015 that will be the first ever plug-in hybrid from the German automaker.

Audi A3 fans will tell you that this model range is about to hit a significant growth spurt. Previously, it was only available in the U.S. as a four-door hatchback with either a turbocharged four-cylinder or a turbocharged-diesel engine. The car was a relatively small-time player in Audi’s lineup but attracted a loyal following of drivers who appreciated the premium feel in a compact package.

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Audi A3 e-tron concept is said to be rated at 156 mpg.

The A3 e-tron concept can drive up to 31 miles on electricity at up to 80 mpg.

Audi A3 electric hybrid (PHEV) prototype.

Audi A3 electric hybrid will have three driving modes, including a 30 mile EV-mode range.

Audi A3 e-tron; the company sees electric hybrids (plug-in) as the most viable fuel-saving approach long term.

Audi officials see electric (plug-in) hybrids as the most viable fuel-saving technology in the long term.

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