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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

Audi A3 Sportback 1,4 TFSI e-tron
EngineIn-line four-cylinder
Displacement1395 cm³
ChargingTurbo, indirect intercooling
Engine controlDOHC
Mixture formationDirect injection
Valves4 per cylinder
Torque250 Nm at 1500-3500 rpm
E-Torque350 Nm
BatteryLi-Io, 8,8 kWh
Performance110 kW (150 HP) at 5000-6000 rpm
E-Power75 kW (102 HP)
CO2-emission35 g/km
Drive trainFront drive, transversal
Clutches3 wet clutches, electro-hydraulically operated
TransmissionAutomatic six-speed
Front suspensionMcPherson
Rear suspensionFour-link
SteeringGear rack, servo, electric, depending on speed
BrakesDiscs, front ventilated
WheelsSteel, 205/55 R 16 (6,5")
Turning circle10.900 mm
Wheelbase2.636 mm
Length4.310 mm
Width1.785/1966 mm
Height1.425 mm
Boot capacity280 litres
Tank capacity40 litres
Kerb weight1615 kg + driver
Top speed130/222 km/h
Year of manufactureFrom 2014
Purchase priceFrom 37,900 euro

There is simply too much being taken over without thinking. E.g., the assertion that, with the A3 Sportback e-tron, one can, with a fully charged battery, drive 50 km using only electricity and this, at a speed of 130 km/h. Every part of this sentence is in itself correct, namely, under favourable conditions 50 km can probably be driven and 130 km/h, using only electricity, is also technically possible.

The electric motor gives out 75 kW (102 HP) and this is quite enough for 130 km/h. The important thing is, that the software only engages the combustion engine at a somewhat higher speed. Why then, is a distance of 50 km not possible?

One can do a lot with an electric car, except calculate. Since then, it suddenly becomes clear, what an enormous amount of potential we have used over the decades, by burning petrol. The e-tron has a capacity of 8,8 kW/h. Now, let's make believe, that this amount can be completely exploited, whereby as a rule, only 70% can actually be used.

You've probably already guessed what the result is. If one converts the energy-content (heat-value), then the e-tron, through its relatively large battery, has no more than one extra litre on board. The electric drive can be as efficient as you like, driving 50 km at a speed of 130 km/h, is simply not possible.

As we said, one shouldn't do the calculation. Have a look at the hybrid-pioneer Toyota, there we can see, in the Yaris, a modestly small battery, which, together with the electric motor, serves more to compensate for the weakness of the combustion engine and to allow it's operation in the fuel-saving mode to be possible.

One shouldn't actually mention all this, because if no-one invests in a hybrid-drive like in the e-tron, the researching for new batteries will plod along slowly. Because of the cost-pressure, Toyota is still using metal-hydride batteries. Does that sound future-oriented?

It is said, that Audi waited a long time, to now move into a field where the technology is already widely advanced. However, take note of the weight, which accompanies the additional litre of petrol. If we assume an additional weight of approx. 300 kg, then we have to re-estimate the progress of vehicle electrification.

The mother company, VW, has taken a different road for the Golf with Plug-in technology and the same basic structure. They would, as a rule, offer a more reasonably priced car and position the Golf GTE near to the GTI, whose performance, at least engine-wise, is similar. A more expensive GTI with a higher weight to occasionally do some saving!? 08/14