TEST DRIVE: Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Electric Hybrid
Much like the video market of the early 1980s, where VHS and Betamax jostled for public acceptance (and let’s not forget the LaserDisc), car manufacturers over the past decade or so have also been in a race to ensure their hybrid cars become the industry standard rather than a soon-forgotten novelty.
With Audi arriving suitably late to the plug-in hybrid party with the A3 Sportback e-tron (registrations of hybrid and plug-in cars rose 20.5% in 2013, to 32,715 units globally), perhaps now is the time when the consensus of opinion will favour this type of drivetrain above any of the market alternatives.
And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. The e-tron system, or one that is very similar, will be adopted throughout the Volkswagen Group (Porsche already uses it in the Cayenne and Panamera, while Volkswagen will launch the Golf GTE later this year using something virtually identical), thus giving it mass market appeal and, more importantly, bucketfuls of credibility.
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