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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron in a practical test

With the Sportback e-tron, Audi is bringing the first Audi model with a plug-in hybrid drive onto the market. The well-known 1.4 TSFI engine, which has an output of 110 kW (150 PS), is combined with an electric motor that produces 75 kW. When coupled, this gives a system output of 150 kW (204 hp) for a sporty driving style.

The electric motor is fed by a lithium-ion battery with 8,8 kWh, which was installed under the rear seat bench. Audi states that the charging time on a 380 V three-phase connection is just over 2 hours.

A so-called separating clutch is supposed to form the medium between the combustion engine, electric motor and a six-speed S tronic. Purely electric can be driven up to a speed of 130 km / h. The recuperation takes place with the overrun recuperation when releasing the accelerator pedal and further when braking by the brake system. A range monitor provides information about the electrical range and the increase in range when consumers are switched off. The curb weight without driver is 1.540 kg. The basic price at the start of sales is 38.700 euros.

The e-tron services and a free Audi MMI connect app, which provides information on the status of the battery, the range and service information, are integrated. The charging planning and the stand air conditioning can also be controlled here.

According to Audi, the A3 Sportback e-tron has so far been the most stable car in its class. Auto Bild and the market research institute Schwacke came to this conclusion in spring 2015. According to Audi, the plug-in hybrid model impressed with the best residual value forecast for compact cars and was consequently awarded the title “Value Champion 2015”.



Audi A3 Sportback - online

Source texts, images: Audi

Audi A3 e-tron practical test

In the future, Audi will increasingly rely on hybrid drives and so these dual drives can be found in the compact class, but also in the SUV models of the Q series. However, the manufacturer's instructions on the low consumption values ​​always refer to a fully charged battery at the start of the journey. The drives consist of a four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine with 150 hp and a 75 kW electric motor. Both engines coupled result in a system output of 150 kW / 204 PS. This means that up to 50 km can be covered purely electrically and up to 800 km with the combustion engine. Equipment and space
The Audi A3 Sportback is a popular alternative to the technically related group brother VW Golf. However, the appearance is more elegant on the outside and inside. The cockpit and the interior look much higher quality and more valuable, which is reflected in the price. The lithium-ion battery, however, needs space and so the trunk is a bit tight and only holds 280 liters. It shares this disadvantage compared to the models with a pure combustion engine with other plug-in hybrids such as the Volvo V60 or the Panamera S E-Hybrid.
In the interior, the space available at the front is generous, but with larger passengers at the front, the rear seats are severely restricted in the leg area. The large, central display behind the steering wheel is designed as a function monitor. All relevant data can be displayed between the rev counter and the speedometer.
After a short period of familiarization, you can switch between vehicle information using the controls on the steering wheel
information, media services and navigation system can be selected - a very practical solution. A smaller monitor can be used in the middle above the console, which can then be operated using the usual rotary knob in the center console and switching elements.

Well-engineered assistance systems

In our version, the car is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. In drive mode, all gears are smoothly shifted up and down. Well-engineered assistance systems can be activated for long journeys while driving. The side controls are most often used by drivers to secure the blind spots. A discreet warning light integrated in the mirror lights up when there are obstacles to the right and left of the vehicle. Two radar sensors detect what is approaching from behind from the side
Vehicle and measure the distance and the speed difference. The lane change assistant provides support from around 15 km / h.
The combined lever for the cruise control is also very practical when driving on the motorway; it keeps the desired speed constant from around 30 km / h, provided that the engine power or the engine braking effect allows it. It is operated using a separate steering column stalk. In combination with the driver assistant, the speed and distance to the vehicle in front are controlled and maintained. With the help of a radar sensor, vehicles driving ahead are detected and the distance is kept largely constant within the control range by braking and accelerating. The control range for hand controls is approx. 30 to approx. 200 km / h, for S tronic it is 0 to approx. 200 km / h.
In stop-and-go traffic, the adaptive cruise control can brake to a standstill and then start off again automatically under certain conditions. If the vehicle does not start off automatically, a short tap on the accelerator is all it takes and the system will work again. In our long-distance test on over 1.500 km of motorway journeys, the assistance systems described have proven to be useful tools for the driver. In the construction site area, however, personal control should be in the foreground in accordance with the poor road markings and narrow lanes.
The navigation system can be controlled via a rotary knob in the center console or via voice input. Targets and obstacles, for example construction site areas or traffic warnings, were continuously and up-to-date integrated during our test drives and diversion recommendations were shown in the display. At the same time, the central display serves as information
With the new e-tron, Audi primarily appeals to sporty drivers in the compact car segment. The plug-in hybrid is designed to combine sporty driving with environmental awareness. For example, short distances in the city center or when parking can be covered purely electrically. In our test we want to test the suitability for everyday use, the consumption values ​​and the driving behavior.

Infotainment system

Information about the car, the map, the navigation or the Audi Assist system can be called up. The twice as large display behind the steering wheel is easier to get an overview while driving. In addition to the usual displays for speed and tachometer, all media services, all vehicle information and complete navigation, including maps, are clearly arranged here and can be called up using the controls on the multifunction steering wheel. The operation can be grasped quickly and intuitively.
The overall package includes the selection of the suspension settings - from comfortable to sporty, including individual settings - and the selection of how to use the hybrid drives. While driving, the Audi kommod can be moved in travel comfort up to a very sporty driving style. The individual settings here allow each driver a range of possible uses.
Those who rely on the recharging of the batteries by recuperation in this vehicle will have an average consumption value of between 5 and 7 liters of super unleaded. This means that an average of between 500 and 700 km can be driven in practice. From 130 km / h on the motorway, consumption then increases significantly.
The supplied charging cables allow charging in up to 2 hours, depending on the connection. With a fully charged battery, the range increases by around 60 km in summer. The basic price for the A3 Sportback e-tron with 1,4 l TFSI with S Tronic is currently 40.090 euros. We definitely recommend ordering the virtual 12,3-inch central cockpit with the functions described above, which is subject to a surcharge.

N. Hawthorn
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