Audi A3 e-tron Gets Up To 17 Miles Of Electric Range According To EPA – Ultra Version Emerges

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 66

Audi A3 e-tron

Audi A3 e-tron

Internal documents filed by the Environmental Protection Agency show that the 2016 Audi A3 e-tron officially gets up to 17 miles on battery alone, a bit less than our guesstimated ~20 miles.

The expanded figures reveal that there are actually two versions of the A3 e-tron: A3 e-tron and A3 e-tron ultra.

The ultra version gets a rating that’s 1 mile higher on electric than the standard A3 (17 miles vs 16) and ultra returns improved composite MPG and normal MPG, as well.

Here’s a look at composite MPG and electric range for both versions of the A3 e-tron:

Audi A3 e-tron EPA Ratings

Audi A3 e-tron EPA Ratings

And here’s the rundown on normal MPG figures:

Audi A3 e-tron EPA Ratings

Audi A3 e-tron EPA Ratings

Prior to the release of the EPA ratings, we had not heard of this “ultra” version, so we reached out to Audi to see what this range- & MPG-boosting package consisted of.  Here’s Audi’s answer:

“The main difference is wheel and tire size for the ultra. But essentially the same A3 Sportback e-tron with ultra-low rolling resistance 16” tires.”

So, it seems that tires alone do make a rather significant difference.

The A3 e-tron is priced fairly aggressively in the United States from $37,900 (full details). The Audi is eligible for $4,158 from the federal government in plug-in credits because of its 8.8 kWh battery – giving it a price close to the base MSRP for the model.

A3 e-tron is available in the U.S now in limited numbers. Soon, it’ll be available nationwide.

Here is the public/”on-screen” report on EPA’s website for both trim level’s today:

Audi A3 e-tron Range/MPGe (via EPA)

Audi A3 e-tron Range/MPGe (via EPA)

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66 responses to "Audi A3 e-tron Gets Up To 17 Miles Of Electric Range According To EPA – Ultra Version Emerges"

  1. ffbj says:

    17 miles? Heck I can, or I could have run that far.

    1. Nick says:

      Could you have done it while wearing a ~3000 lbs pack at 60 mph? 😉

    2. Proton says:

      Thanks,but I’ll keep my 15 Volt with 49mi all electric with each charge.

  2. manbitesgas says:

    Is that with our without a diesel generator?…

    1. R.S says:

      It doesn’t need one! Audi has come up with a compact NOx tank, which will be refilled at every service. But they are planning to sell refills at gas stations, too.

  3. Michael B says:

    Only a 10 gallon fuel tank. So they had to find a the space for battery.

    1. RexxSee says:

      17 miles range lol! Yeah sure you have to find space for the 6 “AA” batteries 😉

      1. Rich says:

        *nod* I heard they were going to use a 9V for better energy density but got a good deal on the AA’s.
        17 mile range is green washing.

  4. jelloslug says:


    1. offib says:

      ‘eh… Not even a meh, just ‘eh.

      It’s price looks nice in comparison to the base A3, to which its most paraded engine choices are barred from sale. All keeping in mind that the Volt doesn’t exist, it looks grand!

  5. Forever green says:

    That is a “Clean Diesel Generator” if you please!

  6. CDAVIS says:

    …why is Audi even screwing with this car?

    …I’ve always been a fan of Audi’s build quality and performance but I would not even trade a Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, or 2016/17 Chevy Volt for this Audi E-Tron.

    Sorry Audi but a PHEV < 40miles AER EPA = Not Relevant.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      At $37K, it is much cheaper than a Tesla . . . but, yeah, I’d take the Volt over this. The Volt is cheaper and has MUCH better electric range.

      Try again, VW.

  7. pjwood1 says:

    I sincerely hope would-be e-tron shoppers give the Volt a try. Blind loyalty comes with huge compromises in this space.

    1. Phil Kulak says:

      But it also comes with auto cruise control and better visibility!

      1. tom911 says:

        And doesn’t come with a CA HOV sticker

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Nor does the Volt at this point, I assume.

      2. Philip d says:

        17 Volt is rumored to likely have ACC.

        Also not only does the A3 only get 17 electric miles vs. the Volt’s 53, the A3’s performance in EV mode will be boring with the electric motor putting out 100 hp vs. the Volt’s 149.

        Volts costs less too.

        1. Rich says:

          This is what happens when the largest Shareholder is Big Oil.

          Qatar owns largest share of Volkswagen (VW, Audi, Porsche)

    2. Speculawyer says:

      Seriously. I can’t see much reason to get this instead of a Volt. Perhaps it is a little bigger and the 5th seat is more comfortable? That doesn’t seem to worth paying that much extra for and getting worse performance.

      Audi Badge loyalty seems about the only reason to pick this over the Volt.

  8. bro1999 says:

    The Ford C-Max Energi gets 19 EV miles on a 7.6 kWh battery….despite weighing a ton (or 2) and having a less aerodynamic shape. ONLY reason to buy an e-tron over a C-Max is for the Audi badge.

    Seriously, what a joke. Not even worth mentioning in the same sentence with the ’16 Volt.

    1. tedfredrick says:

      And looks. The Cmax is a nerd car. Don’t get me wrong, I am a nerd, but my wife isn’t and she doesn’t want a Cmax

      1. Brian says:

        That’s funny, my wife calls her CMax a “mom-mobile”. It looks like a shrunken-down minivan for Eco-conscious soccer moms. That said, she absolutely loves the car. And it certainly looks better than my Leaf!

    2. Brian says:

      It is curious that it is so much less efficient than the CMax. Then again, most Audis are less efficient than equivalent Fords. For all of the props that German companies give to their engineers, they certainly don’t seem able to design and build efficient cars.

      1. Art Isbell says:

        Um … i3, designed by German engineers and built in Germany, and also the most efficient EV sold to date.

        1. Brian says:

          There is an exception to every rule!

      2. pjwood1 says:

        16mi/8.8kwh, for a rated 1.8 miles per kwh is a pattern with VW/Audi/Porsche. The BMW i3 gets closer to 80/22, or 3.6. mi/kwh. If gas efficiency had this big a gap, the less efficient car would never sell. Volt 53/18 = 2.9, etc. Of course, the GM and BMW would also stay silent on most trips, perhaps for weeks during nightly charging.

        The only reasonable question for the e-tron shopper should be: Can I get Bilsteins for the Volt? 😉

    3. Speculawyer says:

      The German engineers have some catching up to do with electrics and PHEVs.

      You shouldn’t have wasted all that time & money on diesels, eh, VW? What a total disaster for VW.

  9. Bob says:

    Only 180 % less than a Volt, what a joke.

    1. Ambulator says:

      I make it 68% less than a Volt, although that is a weird way of looking at it. Why not just say it has 32% of the Volt’s range?

    2. Doesn’t matter, it will outsell the Volt in Europe by 18000%.

      1. vdiv says:

        Which has little to do with the Volt and everything to do with GM/Opel’s willingness to sell it there.

    3. Daniel White says:

      Aer not withstanding, there is more at stake here for many myself included. Admittedly the Volt has class leading all electric range However what it does not have is a class leading form factor Don’t get me wrong I have a Volt And enjoy it very much.That said If there was an option available In a slightly larger More user-friendly platform In an extended range electric Drive I would likely be a buyer The Volt is great but it is limiting in that it is at the end of the day a compact form factor. Those who would severely dismiss offerings like this may wind up on the wrong side of history Many have been asking for a larger vehicle utilizing the Volt powertrain I believe there is a market for such a vehicle

      1. Brian says:

        The Ford CMax Energi is a large car than the Audi, has more AER, and costs significantly less. Just saying – there are lots of options out there, compared to even 5 years ago. We should do less complaining and more celebrating!

      2. Philip d says:

        If you compare the Volt and the A3 etron they are almost identical in interior specs and in cargo capacity.

      3. Speculawyer says:

        Yeah . . . and that is exactly why GM needs to put the damn Voltec drivetrain into more car bodies! Put it in a Malibu! Put it in an SUV! Put it in a pick-up! Put it in a mini-van!

        The Voltec drivetrain is the best thing GM has right now.

        1. DocDragon says:

          Amen! And maybe in a few more Cadillacs to compete in the luxury segments!

  10. heisenberght says:

    Obviously there are a lot of better options regarding range, anyways I’m happy that they at least offer something. Many old people are really stuck into buying nothing else than audi and at the same time are not able to see that electric drivetrain is one option, or are even afraid of it. Those people will buy such a car because electrification is minimal. And those will be the people who will be surprised, that they’ll enjoy driving electric. This is a car for the more conservative and scared-to-death by electrification people. People who are more informed will buy better cars, but those are not the target group for this car.

    1. Khai L. says:

      wow, a kindred spirit. You beat me to the post.

      1. heisenberght says:

        We are all connected 😉

    2. Speculawyer says:

      PHEVs . . . . the gateway drug to pure electric vehicles. 🙂

  11. Chip says:

    An EPA AER rating of 0 to 17 miles is a very disappointing result for Audi.
    VW Audi group invested billions in developing its car bodies to be ready for a wide variety of powertrains. That sounded like a smart move rather than having a separate niche hybrid car. However, 0-17 miles AER with reduced trunk size does not compare well with the Volt EREV. Even the larger Sonata PHEV offers 0-27 miles AER and is in the same price range.
    This Audi A3 PHEV is also lacking quattro 4wd. Volvo & Peugeot have chosen a rear wheel drive electric motor to provide 4wd. People expect to pay a premium for 4wd, which partially offsets the higher cost of a hybrid.

    A road test by Autocar reported a short electric range:
    “Urban commutes also favour the tax-free, congestion charge-dodging e-tron, although it’s worth spotlighting the extent of those abilities. Audi claims 31 miles on a full charge; on reasonably temperate winter days, we were unable to extract more than 18 miles”.

  12. Khai L. says:

    wow. what a tough crowd. There are those in the know – e.g. most of the commenters here. And those who are die-hard audi fans who don’t really know. Once they’ve experienced the all-electric mode for those measly 17miles, they’ll be addicted and demand more.

    Considering that most luxury car buyers lease, they’ll be making those demands heard in less than 3 years.

  13. Breezy says:

    Not too impressed. The A3 has a tight rear seat and not much cargo room. In other words, it’s a Volt but costs more and has limited EV range.

    I’m sure it will have a very nice quality interior.

  14. RexxSee says:

    I see what ICE car makers are doing. They are using only the better torque of the electric motor but they keep the cars essentially gasmobiles.
    No genuine efforts to go toward a massive electrification shift, nor helping the environment.
    Only green washing, more profits from more expensive hybrids and no less profits from the repairs, maintenance and early replacements of internal combustion engine vehicles.

  15. Emc2 says:

    EPA’s site says up to 16 miles, not 17, check here:

    1. Jay Cole says:

      As the story/title points to, there are two trims. The standard 16 miles, and the ultra 17 miles (which is basically opting for the more efficient tires over the sporty ones).

      There is also two EPA listings on the site, if you hit compare both:

  16. vdiv says:

    At the price of $37k the question is why isn’t the GTE available state-sides? That price is in the Golf R territory.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Who knows? It seems like it would have been a good car to sell here. Instead we just get the eGolf and this Audi.

  17. Chris B says:

    My primary reason for considering this car as a replacement to my gen 1 Volt (whose lease was up this past Summer) was for it’s performance. Indeed, Audi touts this in their cool commercial. GM rated the Volt’s 0-60 at 8.4 seconds vs. the Audi’s 7.6 seconds and the Audi was likely to have a more European driving feel and be sportier. I was willing to give up some range to get this.

    Flash forward to today and Car and Driver gets 0-60 in 7.8 seconds for the Volt (note: yes, Motor Trend was even faster, but I’m not putting nearly as much faith in their number), and reviewers are talking about how it handles pretty dang well (with the tires being the primary limiting factor) AND the Volt’s performance numbers appear to be achieved WITHOUT the use of engine assist (unlike the Audi) AND the Volt offers the smoother single gear experience found in “pure EVS”.

    In short the “performance” argument seems to have almost vanished for the A3 as compared to the Volt an then when you factor in the Volt’s nearly TRIPLE EV range and considerably lower price (compare MSRP, MSRP with options and the larger rebate for the Volt), well, the Audi would REALLY have to wow me to pick it over the Volt at this point. I look forward to a “head-to-head” comparison between the A3, 2016 Volt and BMW i3 Rex!

    1. Philip d says:

      And one thing to add to the comparison. The A3’s supposed performance advantage was while running in blended mode not in EV mode. I drive my Volt 90% of the time on electricity and at full performance. The A3 you would typically be during on gas to get that performance they are touting. In EV mode you would be looking at 0-60 in something like 11 seconds.

  18. goodbyegascar says:

    I’ll take the Chevy Volt.

  19. blandman says:

    Is this AWD or FWD? If the latter, I am really surprised the big auto makers are willing to let Tesla walk away with the compact SUV EV/PHEV segment of the market in a year or two.

  20. tom911 says:

    FWD only. An afterthought to add the EV stuff as this car is 3+ years old already.

    1. Keith says:

      Yes this vehicle is essentially the Golf GTE re-badged. If it were released 2-3 years ago I think it would be much more successful. However it’s the only PHEV on the Audi name plate right now.

  21. Just_Chris says:

    Again I find myself thinking,

    “is this a competitor for the Volt or is this a green option for people who were going to buy an A3 anyway?”

    IMO the Volt, Leaf, Model S, i3, Zoe and Model X are great cars for those who want an EV but the pip, A3, Outlander, poreche’s, volvo’s, fords and pretty much all the other PHEV’s are just a greener option for the people who were going to buy those cars anyway and then decided on the PHEV as a greener or higher spec option. I am more than happy for people who were going to buy a “sports car” to by a PHEV rather than a turbo-charged petrol or V8 gas guzzler.

  22. Nix says:

    I see the primary value of this car, with the relatively short range, is to try and make it price competitive with their other non-PHEV trims.

    That way they can convince buyers who would normally not be in the market for a “green” car at all to buy a green car.

    It that is how it plays out, than I’m fine with that being their motivation. If they can get more people from the mass market to buy a PHEV, good for them.

    But this definitely isn’t going to attract lots of enthusiasts.

  23. Rick Danger says:

    “16 miles isn’t enough for you? Ahhh you want the ULTRA version! 17 Miles!”

    How do you say that with a straight face?

    1. Just_Chris says:

      I thought that the reason for the PHEV-lite options (as opposed to the REX type concepts like the volt or i3) was not that you drive around really slowly for 17 miles and then look for a plug but rather that you thundered down the autobahn at 100 mph on your petrol engine and then sit in traffic for an hour or so in the city in EV mode?

      I prefer my LEAF as a concept but then again I don’t drive very far. If we could get people into the habit of not burning stuff in city centers that would be good. I think bigger batteries would be better especially in the massive SUV’s (BMW I’m looking at you) but this is at least a start.

      1. Just_Chris says:

        I hit the wrong button, this isn’t entirely relevant to Ricks comment

  24. Koenigsegg says:


  25. JD says:

    Beautiful car (to my eye), much better visibility than the Volt, probably nicer fit and finish, and lacks the Volt’s occasional eruptions of plastic and chrome on the inside and outside. With the federal subsidies, the 33K price is about the same as the now-dead diesel A3, with similar performance and zero emissions for short trips. I was someone who was tempted, having upsold myself from a Golf (26K) or GTI (30K).

    But that was before I understood the subsidies and battery range details. Instead of waiting for the A3, we got at 2016 Volt for 20K (30K minus 10K of state and federal subsidies). Visibility and aesthetics mean a lot, but they aren’t worth 1/3 the electric range at 150% the price. It looks like a nice car, but the Volt is damned hard to beat.

  26. Keith says:

    The 17 mile EV range is rather disappointing (especially since early European Press slated this to be around 31). I am still interested in this car though. With the federal incentives, I am hoping that leases get under $399/ month for this car to be successful. While I much rather have the superior range of the Volt, the Volt is still essentially a 4 seater car and you’re paying quite a premium for a Chevy that essentially looks like a more futuristic Toyota Corolla. I’ll have to test drive both these cars head to head before deciding. If the performance and handing is much superior on the Audi, I may be able to sacrifice that rather weak range and Premium gas requirement over the Chevy.

  27. sakistarling says:

    I have the eTron and I love it. It’s my 6th Audi and I agree that this car is for Audi and design die-hards who want a greener option. I’m also a single woman and feel sexy in this car. Can’t say the same for any other EV with those tiny wheels and frugal aesthetics. And have you seen the Audi rings outlet cover?? Now that’s hot.

  28. Tango says:

    After 25000 miles driving a 2013 Ford Fusion Energi, when the 20 mile range of the high voltage battery is depleted it goes oh so smoothly into hybrid mode and with the active noise cancelling system on, nobody notices that the gas engine is running. My average lifetime mpge is 70. Most of my compute is 15 miles one way. I live on a big hill. Out of the 25000 miles driven, I would say the gasoline engine ran for 5000 of those miles ( and that includes the 2000 mile long road trip without plugging in). I find it difficult to say with certainty that a phev with 20 mile range is way worse than a phev with 50 mile range. It depends on driving habits and weather temps and hills. There are days where driving around with an extra engine and all the complexity that brings with it seems all I need is a simple 100 mile BEV like an I3 or a Leaf. What I liked about the Audi A3 eTron when I test drove it was how they preserved trunk space. The 2017 Volt has good trunk space too. The Fusion Energi trunk volume is small at 6 cubic feet. We joke that the upside is the grocery bags don’t tip over in the curves. ha ha. That said my lease is coming up and the 2017 Chevy Volt is on my short list. It doesn’t have homelink and it doesn’t have power seats or rain sensing wipers but it looks good and has auto parallel and perpendicular parking and adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, etc, etc like the Fusion Energi does. The Audi eTron does has a lot of that but not all of it and it costs more as was mentioned. And then there is the BMW i3. German engineering at its best but is it sexy? I loved test driving that. I am big fan of carbon fiber. So many good choices… but I think sakistarling is right… cars should look sexy.