Audi Cancels A3 Sportback e-tron In Europe

NOV 21 2018 BY MARK KANE 59

Audi axes A3 e-tron in Europe

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron didn’t survive the change from NEDC to WLTP in Europe and the German manufacturer withdrew the model, originally introduced in 2014.

Certification to WLTP and upgrade is not seen an economically viable, especially since within 18 months an all-new generation of A3 is coming.

“The German firm said the move was down to “procedural changes” rather than any other factor such as sales performance.”

The A3 PHEV follows the loss of the Q7 e-tron, which means that Audi currently doesn’t offer any plug-in hybrids, while the all-electric e-tron SUV is delayed (production started in September, but we haven’t heard of any deliveries).

In the UK (the biggest PHEV market in Europe) Audi sold some 637 A3 e-tron in 2017. Because the Plug-In Car Grant for PHEVs comes to an end, it’s an additional reason to not pursue plug-in hybrids at the moment. In the U.S., sales of A3 e-tron amounted to 2,152 so far this year.

Source: Autocar

Categories: Audi

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59 Comments on "Audi Cancels A3 Sportback e-tron In Europe"

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It seems WLTP hit very hard the German’s portfolio of compliance-short range PHEVs, let’s hope they see this as another opportunity to shift towards decent plug-in hybrids and mainly pure BEVs from now on.

I’ve always been pretty disappointed in the Germans with the way they’ve always just done the bare minimum and not put any effort into improving their products. Their reaction to the whole WLTP business is frankly embarrassing. The way they’re reacting you’d think the EU had sprung it on them with about two weeks’ notice. But also what you said.

Yeah, I know very well how much dishonest and lazy they are continuing to be, lobbing the European Union or any other influent power to defend their dirty interests. And it surely makes me very angry. But, at least, VW is apparently the most committed carmaker towards electric (apart from Tesla, obviously). BMW and Mercedes are probably positioned worse, but, because of the fact that for many things these groups are “only one” (it isn’t a novelty they are basically a big cartel), they are very attached, so, joint destiny. If VW proves serious with the ID program before 2020, then good luck to all of them. But this is the last chance. Fail it, and an unprecented reply of Kodak or Nokia will directly make the ground tremble under Germany and the whole Europe as well.

Sorry I meant *unprecedented* and I wanted to write “will make the ground tremble a lot” which is more powerful, hope the message has passed anyways 😉

I say this as a European citizen, precisely Italian, so I am totally conscious of the amount of jobs, help to the economy ecc. German carmakers give to Europe, probably a German would describe this situation even more worring than me. It’s exactly for this they make me angry: they seem to not understand the amount of importance they have and so the risks they expose our economy and society to if they don’t adapt quickly to electrification. If such a big company goes bankrupt, Europe is over. So I obviously don’t wish it to them, even if they would deserve it, if anything I spur them to change mentality.

I’m sure the European economy as a whole would survive one of the German companies going bankrupt (not that I’m saying it’s likely anytime soon). The employees wouldn’t remain unemployed: The assets would be bought by a company that was less shortsighted in terms of product futures.

BMW position the worst. Ok 🤔

I said that probably both Mercedes and BMW are positioned worse than Volkswagen (including Audi and Porsche) regarding FUTURE offer of BEVs, not only BMW. Instead, BMW is CURRENTLY the most active among the three with the i3. But is totally possible that Volkswagen, with more brands and volumes, will be the first to disappear given their actual delay, ID program needs to be very succesful when it starts (if it doesn’t get delayed too like said in an article from InsideEVs a few months ago). Mercedes, well, needs to act faster too, I read about EQC arriving in showrooms in Europe (or Italy, don’t remember) only in September 2019…

yet Tesla haven’t certified any of their cars under WLTP, all their range figures are NEDC

That will change, but yes, they should have already done the switch

Just as well. PHEVs need a minimum range to be extra useful. Between 50-100km real world range is OK. Below 50. . and you end up with a lot of cold starts for the engine. Extra wear and pollution without a proper need for it.
As there are better batteries coming, range will increase on all PHEV.

I think that’s overly pessimistic on the utility of PHEVs. I just calculated that so far we have driven our Pacifica 210 miles for every gallon of gas used.

A3 range is 16 miles vs Pacifica 33 miles…

Understood, but I still think a plug-in is better than not. You use the first mile of range on nearly every trip, after all.

There is a very steep return curve for PHEV’s that depends heavily on the actual owner’s own personal driving and charging needs. Having a short range PHEV is something that CAN be better than not, or could be worse than just owning a hybrid.

PHEV’s start in the hole vs. a regular hybrid, because they are more expensive and get worse MPG in pure gas mode than a PHEV. As they run more miles on EV power, they dig themselves out of the hole. The more miles they run on gas, the deeper they dig into the hole.

If you own a PHEV with 16 miles EV range and you live in a mild climate with a 25 mile round trip commute, and charge at work, and don’t do lots of road trips, then the 16 mile range PHEV will be a great choice. The more climate control you need, and if you can’t charge at work, longer commute, lots of road trips, etc the worse the numbers work out.

Not to mention battery degradation; people with low range PHEV’s hogging up charging spots; the added complexity and cost of a PHEV without all the benefit; the furtherance of enabling automakers to be recalcitrant in producing EV’s, by allowing them to get by producing low range PHEV’s, etc.

I am currently getting 105 MPG in my A3…

Don’t get me wrong, based on my daily usage, if they had almost doubled the battery I would be getting well over 300, but I feel you are dismissing it a little out of hand.

And I don’t know how you get 16 miles of electric range, when I do a 21.3 mile drive every day of the week and usually have 1-2 miles left after that.

I am getting at least 20-22 miles out on each charge, so far done 31k on the clock in which 85% is on pure electric, shame that Audi has to discontinue their A3 PHEV.

We are currently at 198mpg in our A3 Sportback e-Tron, BUT, we usually use it only around town, switching to our Tesla Model 3 for longer trips, so not a fair comparison for all drivers. We still wish that Audi had installed the 37 amp hour battery pouches they were testing in 2016, instead of the weaker Samsung 24 amp hour which were installed (would have upped range to 30 miles on average).

A3 Sportback e-tron is actually closer to 18 miles in winter and 19-20 the rest of the year in the USA, unless you regularly drive with a lead foot. We own a 2017 e-tron and this is from two years of data.

Interesting fact. Do you live far from a city or make regular drives over 60 miles? We were mulling over at least leasing a Pacific a Hybrid until we can place an order for a Model Y.

At 30 miles range, it makes it a tough decision. How did the current NHTSA recall effect you? So many recalls for a car that has only been out a short time is worrisome.

No, we live in a small city where most things we want are less than ten miles away. 2/3 of that gas usage is from one round trip. (1400 miles on the odometer so far, 3/8 of the way through the dealer’s tank of gas.)

The current NHTSA recall doesn’t especially scare me – a few damaged catalytic converters is annoying, and fire is certainly scary, but it sounds like that is from a lot of hybrid usage, which we don’t do. Regardless, I’ll be first in line to get it fixed when it gets officially assigned to my vehicle. It’s a software fix so it should be easy, and it is expected to be available on December 8th which is of course just a few weeks away.

I’ll put it this way, if another company besides FCA made an efficient, relatively affordable plug-in 7-seater, we’d have bought that instead – but they don’t, and so far the Pacifica has been fantastic for my family.

This conversation got me to check the NHTSA VIN lookup and mine has been assigned the recall, so I now have an appointment to get it fixed on Monday. Chrysler seems to be speeding up its availability which is great.

Family hauler short trips must be nicer, if you are taking advantage of Pacifica’s faster 6.6KW charge rate between trips?

I’m all for PHEVs. I may have formulated it wrong. I have many coworkers that use PHEVs, and they hardly ever use the engine. We’re talking 1-2 times a month, or less.
They have made huge financial savings because of their choise…not to forget a lot less pollution.

I just hope PHEVs will be upgraded quick enough, so they can utilize new batteries with more energy dense design and chemistry.
The more people who can use a PHEV the better. For many people it will be the best choise, until EVs come down in price, or range increase enough for a “normal” price. For some, EVs will not be an option for many years either.

I would manage fine with a PHEV with a fairly short range, but many would need a longer range in order to buy the car.

A PHEV with wireless charging would be perfect.

210mpg very good.
So does it use a little all the time or some sometimes?

Some sometimes, also if it’s really cold and gets remote started (even when it’s plugged in). A gap in the Pacifica Hybrid is that you can’t set it to precondition using grid power.

Well that sucks. The Energi’s can precondition using whatever the cord is delivering. On 120V that ain’t much, but even then it won’t start the engine. You can remote start and steal from the battery to precondition as well, without starting the engine. Sounds like Chrysler came up short on that design.

It’s a weird oversight. UConnect even has OTA updates!

It’s annoying that my 2013 C-Max can precondition and my 2018 Pacifica can’t.

Your Pacifica is on the low end of being a truly useful PHEV. Anything less, especially in cold weather, is not terribly useful. I feel PHEV’s make the most sense with 50-100 miles of pure electric range. That way, in the least favorable conditions, you still get 25-50 miles of pure electric range. A PHEV truck with towing capability would work best with at least 100 miles of electric range. That way, in the least favorable conditions, you still get 20-25 miles before the ICE kicks on.

I look forward to aftermarket battery upgrades for current PHEV’s. So, when your Pacifica is ten years old, maybe you could purchase a new battery, for a reasonable sum, with 60 miles of range?

I disagree. A large portion of my C-Max’s miles are on EV too; I certainly get quite a bit of utility out of its little battery.

(It calculates 87 MPGe since August 2017 when I last reset it. About 9,000 miles.)

What type of climate do you have? Do you live in an urban area? Have you experienced any battery degradation yet? How often does the ICE kick on, and do you wish it would kick on less?

Four seasons (eastern PA), fairly urban, a little (down to 5.2 kWh from 5.5), almost never in the summer unless I go a long distance (harder to avoid when the windshield needs defogged), of course I do, but the used C-Max is affordable, can be serviced at the dealer down the street, and can go to the nearest large cities without worry. There simply isn’t a BEV in that range yet that I have found.

You are right to an extent, a 100km range would be much more useful but most people don’t travel much further than 31m/50km from work. Even if the PHEV only covers one trip in each direction thats still 50% less fuel usage and a little under 50% less emissions created. Surely that’s an improvement on the 100% most vehicles use now?

It is more complex than that, and it depends on your own driving habits, and if you are comparing to some SUV/CUV, or a gas sedan, or a good Hybrid like a Prius. Comparing vs. a typical SUV/CUV, yea the improvement is going to be obvious. Heck, even if you never plug it in and just run it like any other hybrid it will be better!

But if you using it in on the gas engine alot due to HVAC demands or lots of roadtrips, etc, a pure hybrid may end up being a better choice because it is more efficient in gas mode.

It is actually frustratingly complex to calculate PHEV benfits!! And the calculations are so personal to every owner, and depend so much on what vehicle the owner would otherwise drive, that it is nearly impossible to make generalizations.

More EV range tends to benefit a larger number of driver’s driving patterns, up until they reach a point where the battery is large enough that the full capacity is not used by more and more drivers and is dead weight much of the time, or the ICE is dead weight much of the time.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

Battery capacity is range is power is inverse of c rate.
Battery is rarely dead weight.

hmmm… I’m not sure I was clear enough with my comment on dead weight. The concept of “dead weight” comment is easier to understand if taken to unrealistic extremes.

For example, if a PHEV had a 1000 mile range battery, and you drove 10 miles a day before plugging in each night, everyone would agree that the vehicle was just lugging around a bunch of dead battery weight that isn’t needed.

This is the same for ICE cars. If a vehicle had a 500 gallon gas tank full of gas, then everyone would agree that the car was just lugging around a bunch of dead gas weight that isn’t needed.

Scale that down, and BASED ON EACH DRIVERS OWN HABITS, there is a point where FOR THAT DRIVER they don’t need/use more range, and don’t need/use more power, and having a battery larger than what they actually use is all dead weight.

You’re leaving out gas and watt cost variables. A lot of places still exist where electricity is a third, or less, the cost of gas, per mile. “like any other hybrid” doesn’t apply, when saving $1,000 or more using the watts. Cleaner, too.

With the typical commute being way less than 30km anything more than say 40km worth of battery is carrying around too much heavy expensive battery, no?

As to the A3 Etron. A bit of a shame but it was a bit short in the battery and electric power department.

If the typical commute is 30km then having a battery that can supply atleast 60km is advantageous. That way, in the least favorable conditions, you can still make your commute. Probably want atleast 70km worth of battery when additional variables such as battery degradation are considered.

The average commute in the USA is about 32 miles round trip. That means the average commuter would want a PHEV that can supply 70 miles of pure electric range, to be the most practical. That way, in the least favorable conditions, the average commuter can still get 35 miles of range before the ICE kicks on.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

My commute is 41.3 round trip. Can get about 30 miles in crappy winter conditions in a 2013 Volt with snow tires. If snowing, take longer route, but will be driving max 45mph on the Interstate, which helps efficiency. 🙂
I think I’d just about be able to make it in a gen 2 Volt.
(But generally Volt is my wife’s commuter. She drivers fewer miles so more likely to make it all EV, but she sometimes drives between work sites and the cold start and heavy use of heater can lead to running out of charge.)

That is a perfect example of how even in the same household, that what counts as the optimal battery range for each driver can be very different!!!

In theory you could end up with a teenage driver who is only allowed to drive to school and back that would be a perfect match for a much shorter range PHEV, while still having the option of sending the kid off in their shorter range PHEV to go stay with grandma and grandpa in the countryside for a week 500 miles away.

Don’t over think PHEVs. Enough for the “daily” miles has become a simple answer. Just because few PHEVs have yet reached 50 miles, doesn’t mean have to sit around guessing the plans of everyone in the household. We need more 40-80 range PHEVs.

Don’t know where you are geographically… It’s obviously very different for different scenarios, and you need to count not only the round trip commute (the vast majority of people both in Europe & the US don’t have workplace charging), but errands to get the daily driving distance which is what matters.
Average daily driving distance in the USA is ~35mi / 56km, a lot more than the 30km you mention.
About 70% of US drivers have a <30mi/50km round trip commute, so I think that should be the minimum for a PHEV (esp. since most workplaces don't have chargers, and you need to allow for some spare capacity for winter and airconditioning, as well some battery degradation).
Average daily distance in Europe is a bit less, but not much less, and still above 40km. This may sound surprising, but isn't, because in many European metro areas there are people who almost don't use cars at all during the week, because of good mass transit and/or bicycling infrastructure; those that do drive tend to drive longer distances.

Another one to disagree. Im getting 80mpg from a car that has a teeny tiny little 8kWh battery. Pretty efficient. It’s the ding dongs that buy a Tesla X with a 100kWh battery and then drive 10 miles to work who are doing the most damage to the environment. The carbon footprint and Li+ use of a 100kWh battery is bad.

“loss of the Q7 etron”

Wha? Did we miss the press release announcing, and then the one cancelling, or is this statement about the 2015 Q7 PHEV, that didn’t arrive and (AFAIK) was never cancelled?? It couldn’t be the R8 eTron, because we know that one was cancelled a while ago.

The A3 PHEV? At least there were real cars made. Progress.

pjwood1 – stop with the bashing. Do a bit of research before posting.
The Q7 e-tron was only available in Europe, was made available for sale before Volvos’ PHEV but was never intended to be sold in N.A.

“with the US to follow” From way back:
The article is from this website, and I don’t think Jay was putting us on.

Can you imagine if Tesla killed two cars, how much the faux outrage would be? The crazies would be calling for the SEC to arrest Musk!!

In reality, product delays are normal and expected in any manufacturing. Delays are doubly normal and expected for software, and EV’s have lots of lines of software.

Hopefully after the 6 quarter delay, the new model will hit the market with much better numbers. Perhaps something MEB that might allow them to quickly duplicate the same drivetrain into multiple body styles.

If Audi dropped two thirds of their model range I would think there would be outrage as well. 😉

Thank you WLTP. Another marginally useful German product bites the dust.

FCA, Ford, Renault, and more hit hard in WLTP’s wake. It is not exclusive to Germans.

That’s just a variant of the Golf GTE, right? So kinda expected it got cancelled along with that one…

Will it also be axed in North America (that is, is it worth Audi’s while to keep producing it just for the US/Canada until the next-gen)?

More smoke and mirrors from ze Germans

Why does this not surprise me??

How is WLTP coming as a surprise?

The BMW i3 made it Obsolete.

I think this will be cancelled in USA as well since its not in list of plugins. Good riddance another compliance car, just few dedicated best selling EVs like Model-3/S/X, Volt/Bolt, Leaf will do.