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PHOTO CAPTION: Audi A3 Sporback e-tron offers good range, low CO2 and stylish design.

TEST DRIVE: Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Electric Hybrid

The verdict of EV Fleetworld is the A3 e-tron is the 'best C-segment plug-in hybrid currently on the market...'

Published: 13-Aug-2014

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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2016 Audi A4 Superavant

Due out in 2015, the new A4 reportedly will be available with a plug-in electric hybrid drive option aimed at rivaling BMW's own PHEV 3-Series EV range of 31 miles.

Aud A3 e-tron electric hybrid.

The A3 e-tron offers both performance with 0-100 km/h acceleration of 7.6 seconds while also being capable of driving up to 31 miles in electric-mode.

Audi A3 e-tron Sportback has 50km electric range with additional 580 miles of hybrid range.

Starting price on the electric-hybrid with up to 31 miles of EV-mode driving range will be €37,000s.

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