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Audi A3 e-tron review | Auto Express

The pace of innovation these days is incredible – this is an Audi A3 that emits just 35g/km of CO2, but offers hot hatch pace. Plug-in hybrids are fast becoming the favoured way to cut emissions, yet the trick is to make a car that feels and looks as normal as possible, which is what Audi’s done. While there are compromises – boot space, handling and price – the e-tron still feels like tomorrow’s technology today.
The Audi A3 e-tron is pushed to its limits in this review. The VW Group laid its cards on the table at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week, claiming it wants to be the market leader in electric vehicles by 2018. From next year, 14 new electric and hybrid models will be on sale across all the company’s brands, but none is more important than the A3 e-tron.

• Audi A3 review

We took a drive in a near-production-ready prototype. This is the first model to feature a new modular plug-in hybrid system that, in theory, will fit any car using the MQB platform. By combining a 148bhp 1.4-litre TSFI petrol engine with a 101bhp electric motor integrated into a specially adapted six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it delivers total power to rival a Golf GTI, at 201bhp. Fuel economy and emissions are a barely believable 188mpg and 35g/km respectively.

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