Audi A3 e-tron Goes For A First Spin
Recently Audi priced the upcoming A3 e-tron from €37,000 in Germany, a number we almost begrudgingly complimented the German automaker on – considering the company’s recent run of less-than-stellar attempts at producing and selling plug-in vehicles at a reasonable price. (e-Up!, XL1, R8, etc)
The European price sets up a US price expectation of sub $40,000, and yes – the Audi A3 e-tron is coming to America, but as a 2015 model; likely in the fall of next year.
But what is it like to drive?
Autocar has recently had the chance to take one for a spin and we thought we would pass along some highlights of Audi’s 201 hp/ 243 lb-ft of torque, 31 mile all-electric (NEDC – think low 20s US) extended range machine.
“As quiet as any other electric car on take-off, the e-tron’s easy silence provides relaxed, and swift urban progress. That said, your advance isn’t always as smooth as it should be because there’s sometimes a solid thump as drive takes up.”
Alex Pesch, who is the Audi A3 programme manager told Autocar that this is just an issue with the pre-production model and no finished Audi product would perform like that, “You can be sure that Dr Hackenberg (Audi boss) won’t allow that.”
As for the overall package, they come away quite impressed:
There are no jolts when the drivetrain is combining or switching between motors, and the 1.4 TFSI has a subtly pleasing rort about it when it’s worked hard. Not inappropriately either, because adding a battery pack, shifting the fuel tank to the rear and installing a particularly light engine means that this A3’s 55:45 front rear weight distribution improves on the diesel’s 60:40 apportioning, to the noticeable benefit of its handling.
The e-tron turns out to be the best-balanced, sweetest-handling A3 in the range, which makes for a pretty satisfying steer. It rides well too, although there’s still some damper calibration work to be carried out. Hopefully that won’t firm things up significantly.
The A3 e-tron travel from 0 to 62 mph in around 7.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 138 mph. As for driving on just electricity, a top speed of 80 mph is in place.
For more, check out the complete review here.