With absolutely no fanfare, Audi has priced the A3 Sportback e-tron for the US.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron - Up To 30 Miles Range

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron - Up To 30 Miles Range

And to say the MSRP is unexpectedly low would be an understatement.

The base "Premium" level for the e-tron starts at $37,900 (+ $925 destination).  Discount some $4,158 from the federal government in plug-in credits for its 8.8 kWh battery, and the net cost is $33,700, making the plug-in close to the most inexpensive product in the Audi lineup (base As starts at $30,900).

Roll that federal credit into a lease, and the A3 Sportback e-tron IS the most affordable Audi to be had.

Update:  Audi has now issued a press release on the A3 Sportback e-tron (added to bottom of article)

The Audi's combined performance output is rated at 204 hp, with the electric motor putting the bulk of the combined 258 lb-ft of torque.

The company says 30 miles of all-electric range is achievable, but we expect the EPA to ultimately put a low 20s number on the end product when the final rating are in.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Order Books Open Now!

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Order Books Open Now!

A full L2 (220/240v) charge takes 2 hours and 15 mins, while 0-60 mph comes up in about 7.5 seconds.

Audi bills its first US plug-in offer as follows: "The A3 Sportback e-tron®1 isn't your average hybrid. It's a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) that combines the sportiness and luxury you expect from an Audi with the benefits of a hybrid."

Audi Says L2 Charging Of The A2 e-tron's 8.8 kWh Battery Takes 2 Hours 15 Mins

Audi Says L2 Charging Of The A2 e-tron's 8.8 kWh Battery Takes 2 Hours 15 Mins

Expectations had been for the A3 e-tron to be out earlier in 2015, but apparently Audi was concerned that the US consumer would not be happy with how frequent the car would operate in "Hybrid Mode" (especially in the winter) over all-EV mode, so some tweaks were made.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron - Standard Panoramic Sunroof, Leather/Power Seats

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron - Standard Panoramic Sunroof, Leather/Power Seats

We will chalk this "US tweaking" up to Audi recognizing that the new 2016 Chevrolet Volt (from $33,995 incl $825 dst) is a plug-in that will be cross-shopped against the A3 e-tron.

Even though the A3 Sportback e-tron can only travel about half the distance of the new Volt on electricity, the standard panoramic sunroof, leather and 12 way power seats and more premium branding, could still convert some buyers away from the popular Chevy.

Competition aside, it will definitely bring new buyers into the plug-in segment, as we think many 'regular' A3 buyers will opt for the e-tron edition.

Thankfully, the wait for the A3 e-tron is now over, and the order books are open now (check out the online configurator here), with deliveries estimated to arrive in early fall (October).  And yes, it will be available nationwide at participating dealers in 50 states.

The A3 Sportback e-tron will also come in two higher trim levels, the "Premium Plus" from $42,000 and the fully optioned-out "Prestige" from $46,800.  Below is some highlights from each package

Premium ($37,900): Panoramic sunroof, leather seating, 12 way power seating, LED daytime running lights, parking system plus, keyless entry

Premium Plus ($42,000): adds full LED headlights, audio upgrade, heated seats

Prestige ($46,800): adds full navigation, MMI touch w/handwriting recognition tech, Bang & Olufsen® Sound System with 14 speakers and 705 watts, active lane assist

Last month, Audi sold just over 900 copies of the A3 e-tron in Europe, bringing the year to date total there to ~4,600.  Given the recent percentage splits between the US and Europe for plug-in sales, June's Euro sales for the A3 e-tron would translate to about 600 sales in the US - provided demand between the two consumer bases were equal.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Specs (click to enlarge)

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Specs (click to enlarge)

Audi Press Release on A3 Sportback e-tron:

Audi of America announces pricing for the electrified 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

  • The A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid is the first step towards an electrified future for Audi, combining a premium driving experience with the efficiency of an electric motor.
  • The effective cost to buyers nationwide can be even lower with applicable federal and state incentive and tax credits.
  • Vehicle is the first of many Audi e-tron models to come to the U.S.
Audi announced U.S. prices for the all-new 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron® will begin at $37,900, and purchasing customers may qualify for applicable state and federal incentives and tax credits.  As the first electrified Audi sold in the U.S., the plug-in hybrid electric A3 Sportback e-tron combines efficiency, innovative technology and performance for a premium driving experience.

The A3 Sportback e-tron provides a comprehensive approach to sustainable mobility by combining the benefits of a hybrid with all-electric range. It is a package that makes the A3 Sportback e-tron a versatile choice for the full array of daily commuting challenges, some of which can be handled on battery power alone.

The plug-in hybrid will launch at dealerships nationwide in October. EPA figures will be announced in the near future once they are available from U.S. regulators.

The first Audi plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, to hit the market will be priced from $37,900 for a Premium package to $46,800 for a  Prestige package.  The vehicle will offer even greater value when, as expected, it qualifies for a federal tax credit of $4,168 .  Buyers in some states may qualify for additional incentives.  Tax credits and incentives are subject to availability, and customers should consult their tax professionals and IRS.gov for more information about tax credits and incentives.

Plug-in hybrid system The 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron features a 1.4 liter TFSI® engine with a six-speed S tronic® transmission. Combined with a liquid-cooled, permanent magnet-driven electric motor, the A3 e-tron produces 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque for impressive off-the-line acceleration and high-end power. An 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides electrical energy storage and is packaged beneath the rear seat, allowing for a fully-usable trunk.

Charging and connectivity The charging connection for the A3 Sportback e-tron is located behind the four rings in the Singleframe® grille. This placement in the front of the vehicle is convenient for charging from a power source on either side of the vehicle and the port is hidden when not in use.

  • 240-volt charging quickly replenishes the battery in about 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • Vehicle comes standard with 240 volt mobile electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) which can also be used in a common 120-volt outlet
  • Recharging through a 120-volt outlet takes approximately 8 hours
  • Home installation of a 240-volt outlet and home charging station are optional
  • Available smartphone app allows the driver to remotely check on the status of their A3 e-tron. It can be used to check battery status and for “charge planning” – setting times for charging to automatically begin
  • The driver can also use the app to adjust climate control remotely for added comfort and energy savings
Unique drive modes The A3 Sportback e-tron also delivers a four driving choices for motorists, including full battery propulsion and battery recharge mode:
  • In EV mode, the vehicle is powered only by the electric motor for a smooth and quiet ride featuring quick acceleration
  • Hybrid mode allows the car to intelligently select the most efficient power source - either EV, Hybrid or gasoline
  • Hold Battery mode allows hybrid driving while preserving EV range for later use
  • Charge Battery mode uses the gasoline engine to recharge the battery while driving at highway speed
  • The electric engine can also supplement the gas engine to provide an extra boost of power when desired.
Audi energy offering To ensure driving an A3 Sportback e-tron is convenient and sustainable, Audi is providing the Audi energy portfolio of products with each vehicle sold. Audi energy includes:
  • A standard Audi-designed mobile charging system that works with standard U.S. household outlets or 240-volt service
  • The option for professional 240-volt plug installation through Bosch Automotive Service Solutions, which can lower home charging times to around 2.25 hours
  • Optional solar power installation with rebates through SunPower
  • Audi contributions to environmental conservation programs through 3Degrees to help offset the carbon footprint of every A3 Sportback e-tron sold
Other standard features The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron comes equipped with a wide variety of standard equipment, including.
  • Xenon plus high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights
  • LED taillights with rear fog lights
  • LED interior lighting package
  • Power central locking system with radio-operated key fob remote control for doors, tailgate and fuel door with selective unlocking
  • Automatic dual-zone climate control
  • Three-spoke multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Audi advanced key – keyless start, stop and entry
  • Audi drive select
  • Rear view camera, with front and rear parking sensors
  • Audi pre sense® basic
Design and Body The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron boasts a variety of design features that speak to its sporty and efficient character.
  • e-tron specific Singleframe grille, S line front/rear fasciae and side sills, rear bumper with hidden exhaust outlet
  • Available full LED headlights
  • Available aluminum roof rails
  • Panoramic sunroof with retractable sunshade and pinch protection
  • 16’’ wheels standard (17” and 18” wheels available)
Interior The interior of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron comfortably seats 5 passengers. The lithium-ion battery is hidden beneath the rear seat for even more room and luggage capacity in the trunk. Both the driver and passenger have access to a variety of standard and available technology features.
  • Cargo area offers 13.6 cu ft. of luggage capacity
  • MMI® wheel with optional MMI touch
  • Ultra-thin 7’’ MMI screen with available 7” display
  • Circular air vents
  • Available 3D optic inlays
  • e-tron specific shift knob, badging on the dash, instrument cluster and door sills
Powertrain and Performance

KEY SPECIFICATIONS

   Engine  Transmission  Horsepower   Torque   EPA Estimates (City/Highway/Combined mpg)
A3 Sportback e-tron 1.4-liter TFSI FWD PHEV Six-speed S tronic 204 hp 258 lb-ft. TBA

EPA fuel economy estimates are not available as of this release.  See fueleconomy.gov. Actual mileage will vary and depend on several factors including driving and charging habits, weather and temperature, battery age, and vehicle condition. Battery capacity decreases with time and use.

Technology The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron raises the bar as to what is expected out of electrified vehicles.

  • Sirius XM® Satellite Radio
  • Available MMI navigation plus system features 4G LTE based technology, MMI touch, two SD card slots for MP3 files
  • The MMI operating system has an electronically extending screen, its terminal housed in the console of the center dashboard. Available touch pad is incorporated into the rotary MMI control wheel, which offers intuitive and simple operation
  • NVIDIA graphics processing unit (GPU) generates complex three-dimensional images used in all online, voice control, media navigation and telephone functions
  • A 705 watt 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen Sound System is optional on the A3 Sportback e-tron.
Audi connect The modular infotainment platform in the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron enhances the experience for Audi drivers and their passengers by providing the benefits of access to information and content, when needed, through interfaces designed for the in-vehicle environment.
  • Available Audi connect®, including read aloud Twitter® alerts, access to more than 7,000 Internet broadcast stations, RSS news feeds and more
  • MMI navigation plus uses 4G LTE to deliver the tailored services of Audi connect to the driver – from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View
Driver Assistance The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron offers several advanced technology features, including:
  • Standard Audi pre sense basic system which helps detect when an emergency maneuver is being made and prepares the vehicle and its occupant restraint systems in advance of a possible collision
  • Available Audi side assist, including lane change assistant, operating at speeds above 19mph and providing visual warnings located in exterior mirror housings
  • Standard electronic cruise control with coast, resume and accelerate features
  • Available Audi adaptive cruise control with stop & go
  • Available Audi active lane assist: when the system detects that the driver is leaving the lane without signaling, the car, through gentle corrective steering efforts, will assist the driver to remain in the lane
  • Audi pre sense front: includes brake assist or partial braking when the risk of a collision is detected
Chassis and Suspension The A3 Sportback e-tron platform provides well-balanced proportions, supplemented by optimized interior space utilization and an improved structure.
  • Front suspension is a MacPherson strut design with A-arms and aluminum pivot bearings. It is joined to an aluminum subframe
  • The electromechanically assisted steering system operates sensitively and efficiently together with various assistance systems, while reducing mechanical drag for greater efficiency
  • In the four-link rear suspension, which utilizes a steel cross member, the springs and shock absorbers are mounted separately
  • The electronic stability control (ESC) also includes an electronic differential lock and secondary collision brake assist.
  • When driving through curves, it can brake the inside front wheel very slightly to help minimize understeer and improve traction
Pricing detail Model year 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron starting manufacturer suggested retail prices: (Excluding destination charge, taxes, title, options and dealer charges)

Model Premium Premium Plus Prestige
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron1.4 liter TFSIFWD PHEV $37,900 $42,000 $46,800

Prices above exclude destination charges ($925), taxes, title, optional equipment, and dealer charges. The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is available only at participating Audi dealers. Dealer sets actual price.

Federal tax credits are available only to qualifying taxpayers that purchase a new Audi A3 e-tron vehicle, and are not be available to lease customers.  Qualifications for state incentives will vary.  All tax credits and incentives are subject to change.  Please consult a tax professional for advice.  This content does not constitute tax advice.

Hat tip to Derek G!