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Auto June, 25 2012

Audi A3 e-tron Electric Concept Car

Audi has quietly been testing their new A3 e-tron electric concept car over the last months and recently brought it to the roadways of Manhattan where we had the pleasure of giving it a test drive.

From the outside, the A3 e-tron shows few differences from its petrol based older brother, but once inside the dash board showcases the technology that allows for the vehicle to travel 87 miles (140km) on a single charge – making it a perfect city car for those looking to make the “energy” switch. Driving the vehicle was not that different from the current production Audi A3, though we will conceded that a further open road test could bring more insight compared to the congestion of the West Side Highway.

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The concept e-tron A3 is a beauty in Glacier white paint finish. It borrows the wheel set and interior of its production older brother. Inside, an Alcantara/leather blend covers the seats which allow for “cooler” seating over traditional leather.

Under the hood, Audi’s e-tron technology uses a “permanent magnet synchronous motor” in the A3 concept that supplies the vehicle with 60kW (82 hp) of power peaking at 85kW (114hp) when needed. Energy storage for the Audi A3 e-tron is provided through multi-block lithium-ion batteries located under the luggage compartment and rear seat. Drivers of the vehicle can choose their preferred mode of operation – each impacting the battery use in different ways. Those looking for more power when on the open road can switch into dynamic (sporty) mode while city driving can step-down into the efficiency mode for further battery conservation.And these are just some of the touch points that make the Audi A3 e-tron concept a compelling new option in the world of electronic and hybrid vehicles.

A friendly reminder: the Audi A3 e-tron is currently in the concept phase and not available for purchase – this will of course change in the future.

Highsnobiety