Back in the first half of 2012, Audi produced a small number of A3 e-tron concept cars that were plug-in electric cars based on the 2nd generation A3 Sportback. Although it proved that an A3 EV would be feasible, Audi decided that an extended-range plug-in hybrid would be the best route to go down. With that, the A3 Sportback e-tron concept, based on the new A3 riding on the MQB platform, was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Audi of America later announced that the A3 Sportback e-tron would be available for sale in the United States for the 2016 model year.
Before the A3 Sportback e-tron would be on display at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi of America brought four of the ten e-trons in the United States to be displayed at Audi Club Northwest’s signature event: Quattrofest. At Quattrofest, there were two red A3 Sportback e-trons equipped with LED headlights and two blue A3 Sportback e-trons equipped with Xenon headlights.
All Audi A3 Sportback e-trons are powered by a 150 HP 1.4 TFSI petrol engine that is mated to a 102 HP electric motor plus a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The electric motor feeds off of a 8.8 kWh lithium ion battery pack and, when combined with the petrol engine, has a total power rating of 204 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. Expected battery-only range is around 14 to 19 miles and there are several options in the MMI system to control when the electric motor and petrol engine engage and how much brake regeneration is done to help recharge the battery pack.
Along with the e-trons, there were representatives from Audi of America at the event to provide a few rides in the e-trons and to answer questions that the attendees had. The e-tron was also available for viewing at the banquet that Saturday night.
The 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron should start to be available for sale around September 2015, along with the upcoming 2.0 TDI powered 2016 Audi A3 Sportback.
Additional photos of the Audi A3 Sportback e-trons at Quattrofest are available on Flickr.