Auto Shanghai: Audi debuts A3 e-tron concept

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Audi has unveiled the latest in its line of e-tron concept cars in Shanghai, based on its A3 production model.

The Audi A3 e-tron concept is the latest project from the German brand studying the potential for electric propulsion, boasting a plug-in hybrid drivetrain and an interior similar to that of the A3.

The concept is propelled by two power units - a four cylinder 1.4 liter petrol engine and an electric motor which runs using an on board lithium-ion battery pack - which together give an output of 238 PS.

This, according to Audi, offers the A3 e-tron a 0.100 km/h time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h, using a seven speed automatic transmission which can also be operated using paddles on the steering wheel.

It can manage an all-electric range of 54 kilometers and is recharged using an ordinary household socket, although an energy recovery system is also hooked up to the batteries to boost the range when the car is in motion.

Audi boasts an ever-growing line of e-tron studies (including an A1, A5 and R8), prompting many to question which ones will make it into production and whether they'll appear as a full EV or hybrid.

Although details are still thin, it looks like the A3 could well be on the roads before long as a hybrid, with several commentators predicting that it could be available as a production model by the second half of 2012.

Auto Shanghai runs April 21-28 in Shanghai, China.

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