Audi’s A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid is ready to hit the road

Audi recently provided a bit of an update, and history lesson, on the vehicles in its tron family of cars.

Not related to the Disney movie of the same name, these tron offerings focus around sustainability under the hood in the form of alternative fuel cars and plug-in style drivetrains. From this announcement comes word of plans by the German auto brand, owned by Vokswagen, to bring green cars from this line up to consumers.

The first of the two new planned vehicles is the A3 Sportback e-tron, which saw its official debut earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show. Slated to go on sale by the end of this year, the plug-in hybrid offers up a parallel driveline featuring a 1.4 TFSI working in tandem with an electric motor. The e-tron transmits power from this system, according to Audi, to the front wheels via a newly developed e-S tronic.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron (image via Audi)

An 8.8 kWh, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery located ahead of the front axle powers the electrical portion of the vehicle, allowing for an EV only driving range of  50 kilometers (31.07 miles). The  150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 Nm of system torque (258.15 lb-ft) generated by the gas/electric combination offer for some impressive performance numbers, including accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 7.6 seconds and reaching a top speed of 222 km/h (137.94 mph).

Overall range of the A3 Sportback e-tron is 940 kilometers (584.09 miles), and fuel consumption “measured in accordance with the ECE standard averages just 1.5 liters of fuel per 100 km (156.81 US mpg), equivalent to CO2 emissions of 35 grams per kilometer (56.33 g/mile).”

Joining the A3 e-tron by year’s end is the A3 Sportback g-tron, whose moniker is associated with “drive concepts that run on synthetic Audi e-gas and natural gas.” In the case of this car it is Audi e-gas which fuels it. The gas is described as “synthetic fuel that in chemical terms is almost identical to natural gas and can therefore be distributed as mains natural gas.” Noted as having CO2-neutral properties, the e-gas’ starting components are water and carbon dioxide.

Both cars follow a line of tron concepts Audi has been experimenting with for some time. These include the R18 e-tron quattro, all-electric-drive R8 e-tron and  A1 e-tron.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling