Audi A3 Sportback e-ton Features 31 Miles Of Range (sort-of) In A Sporty Package

Audi A3 Sportback e-ton Features 31 Miles Of Range (sort-of) In A Sporty Package

With the debut of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, German automaker Audi displayed its commitment to plug-in hybrids.

Audi A3 e-tron Rear

Audi A3 e-tron Rear

The luxury automaker says the A3 e-tron is the first of an assortment of plug-in hybrids to come in the future.

In a way, Audi's debut of the A3 e-tron marks what we'll consider a shift in Audi's focus.  No longer is the German automaker constantly wheeling out pure electric concept vehicles at auto shows around the globe.

This production-spec A3 e-tron signifies a change in electrification strategy that Audi says is more in line with the automaker's typical buyer and is better suited to meet the demands of today's motorists.

Heinz Hollerweger, Audi AG’s head of technical development, says "battery-only vehicles give up too much in range" to appeal to most buyers.

In fact, it seems Audi will be in the plug-in hybrid segment in a big way.  As Hollerweger says, Audi will "add one more per year."

But the A3 e-tron is first.  Audi A3 e-Tron will go on sale in 2014 in Europe.  A US version will follow, though it may not be in the Sportback body style.  A sedan seems more probable for the US.