If you thought Audi’s new A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid – which makes its official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show – was destined for European markets, think again. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed during the automaker’s press conference that the C-segment PHEV hatchback will, in fact, be sold in the United States.
The move isn’t completely surprising. In addition to test programs based across Europe, Audi offered fleets of A3 e-tron prototypes for evaluation in North America. In early 2012, Audi announced it would loan early development cars out to drivers in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Denver.
As we reported earlier this week, the final, production-spec A3 e-tron is derived from the all-new A3 that debuted late last year. Externally, the e-tron looks much like any other A3, but beneath the skin lies a modified 1.4-liter TFSI I-4, a 75-kW electric motor, and a modified six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Run the electric motor and engine at the same time, and the system produces 201 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Run the electric motor on its own, and the A3 e-tron can travel about 31 miles as an EV before the gas engine kicks in to extend the vehicle’s total range.
Pricing and timing have yet to be announced for the U.S.-spec A3 e-tron, but expect it to arrive roughly six months after the new A3 range itself comes stateside, which should launch in North America in late 2013 or early 2014.
Source: Audi, @AM_Zenlea