Last year we drove the plug-in hybrid Audi A3 Sportback e-tron on the airport runway at Hamilton Island – a fairly limited drive but boy the weather and scenery were spectacularly good.
As part of Hamilton Island (Yacht) Race Week, Audi brought a few left-hand-drive German-registered A3 Sportback e-trons to the tropical paradise – with a 50kms range on pure electric, these were perfect cars for ‘Hamo’ where smelly/polluting internal combustion engines are frowned-on.
Now Audi’s first plug-in hybrid (based on the A3 the reigning World Car Of The Year) is available from Audi’s Australian dealerships priced from $62,490.
With the 1.4 TFSI engine and electric motor driving through a new six-speed S tronic transmission and delivering combined output of 150kW/350Nm, the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron certainly gets-up and goes when the whip is cracked (zero to 60km/h in 4.9 seconds).
But, more tellingly, it is capable of combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 1.6l/100kms and can cover 920kms on a single battery charge and full tank of fuel.
The battery has a capacity of 8.8kWh and can be fully charged in 2 ½ hours.
And, even though it’s a plug-in hybrid, smart engineering means the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is no science experiment – it can still seat five people in comfort and luggage space is massive (1120-litres with the rear seat folded or 280-litres when in use).
Audi has the A3 Sportback e-tron positioned at the top of the totem pole for A3 models so it carries extensive standard kit including MMI Navigation plus and a seven-inch retractable screen, leather-trimmed interior with sports front seats, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel with paddle shifters, Audi Drive Select, Audi Parking System Plus and LED headlights/DRLs.
Amongst the customer support programs for the A3 Sportback e-tron, Audi will install a 230-volt, high-output 16-amp single phase power outlet at your home of office to enable recharges in 2 ½ hours.