Audi A3 e-tron on sale in Australia in November

Audi Australia has confirmed its first-ever plug-in hybrid production model, the A3 e-tron, will go on sale locally in November. The unique model promises exceptional fuel economy, with average consumption of just 1.6L/100km.

Audi A3 e-tron-grey

This is an exciting vehicle for Audi. Not only is it the first plug-in hybrid from the four-ringed brand, it’s also the first hybrid between its direct German rivals.

Power comes from a 1.4-litre TFSI turbo four-cylinder petrol engine producing 110kW, plus an electric motor system adding 75kW. This is all sent through a six-speed S tronic automatic transmission.

Audi says the overall output is 150kW, which is about as much as a mild hot hatch, while peak torque is 350Nm. Acceleration from 0-100km/h takes a credible 7.6 seconds, with a top speed of 222km/h.

Audi A3 e-tron-engine

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Aside from the respectable performance, the A3 e-tron is all about efficiency, obviously. It’s capable of driving on the electric motor alone for a range of about 50km, with a total range of around 940km.

The 8.8kWh battery system can be recharged in just 2.5 hours, which is very good by today’s plug-in hybrid standards. However, this is only possible with a special home installation package from Audi that incorporates a 240-volt, 16-amp single-phase power outlet.

Audi says in most cases there will be no additional charge for this installation. The local arm has partnered with Origin Energy, and with each new A3 e-tron, customers will receive a certificate that confirms up to the first 10,000km of electric driving has been offset by accredited renewable energy.

The e-tron will come with a high specification equipment package as well, including 17-inch alloy wheels, Audi’s MMI interface with satellite navigation, a rear-view camera and park assist, and dual-zone climate control. It also showcases a 280-litre cargo capacity – around 100 litres less than the regular A3 Sportback.

A definite price is yet to be set, although, Audi says it will retail for around $60,000. Deliveries will being in March, 2015.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.