Other hybrid vehicles are a half measure compared to Audi e-tron®. They offer car owners a chance at a tax credit and keep people away from the gas pump, but their real environmental impact is negligible.
An e-tron® vehicle offers true sustainability when combined with the Audi energy program. The comprehensive approach has created cars that are not just eco-friendly but also maintain the kind of performance you expect from Audi.
Audi currently offers the A3 Sportback e-tron® PHEV for sale, as well as the fully electric R8 e-tron®. Take a few moments to learn more about how Audi is advancing the hybrid segment.
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron® is the future of sustainable mobility.
As a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron® can drive purely on electric power, purely on gas power, or using a combination of gas and electric power. Sounds pretty standard for a hybrid car, right?
The immediate difference with Audi is how it performs. Working in tandem with the electric motor, the 1.4-liter TFSI® engine delivers 204 horsepower. The motor also generates 243 lb.-ft. of torque instantly, making the A3 Sportback quick and responsive. That kind of power in a compact hatchback like this leads to an enthralling experience on the road.
Audi drive select pairs well with the e-tron® drivetrain, allowing the driver to choose between different modes on a whim. Altar the steering feel and throttle response as you see fit to match your current needs or to extend your range.
Alternating between Electric, Hybrid, and Charge modes also lets you make the most of your car’s energy.
- Electric mode is excellent for short commutes or brief errands. Doubly so if you know there’s a parking space with an EV charging port on the other end of your journey. Challenge yourself to see how many days in a row you can go without engaging the engine.
- Hybrid mode offers a balance of gas and electric power so you don’t have to worry about exhausting your battery. This mode also gives you the best performance.
- Charge mode allows the engine to recharge your battery while you’re in motion. It’s great if you have a longer commute between two destinations. Charge up your battery while you’re on the highway, then switch to EV mode when you’re back in city limits.
Charging an A3 Sportback e-tron® takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes when using a 240-volt power source at your home. The car comes with a complimentary charger that doubles as either a 240-volt or 110-volt system. Charging takes closer to 8 hours with the latter. Installation of the charging station is easy when you go through Audi’s partners at Bosch®.
Again, e-tron® represents a complete approach to sustainability. While driving a PHEV will mean fewer trips to the gas station, it won’t have a demonstrable effect on the environment unless you reduce your carbon footprint at home too.
That’s why Audi has partnered with SunPower® to give e-tron® owners access to solar power. You can get professional installation of solar powers at your home to take your A3 even further off the grid.
It’s up to you whether you take that step, but consider that Audi is doing it’s part to promote carbon reduction. To offset carbon emissions made during vehicle production and manufacturing, Audi supports conservation efforts around the world. These conservation programs take the form of primary forest preservation, reforestation, sustainable land use, and greenhouse gas mitigation.
There’s more information about Audi’s commitment to sustainable energy and conservation on the official e-tron® page.
What about the Audi R8 e-tron®?
We didn’t forget the car that started this conversation. In 2009, Audi unveiled the e-tron® concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The prototype system was installed in the R8, Audi’s high-performance supercar. While it has taken several years and the final version still isn’t on sale, the R8 e-tron® is very much alive and on its way.
As impressive as the A3 Sportback e-tron® is, what Audi has done with the R8 is nothing short of an engineering miracle.
The fully electric R8 e-tron® boasts the following specs, as reported by Car and Driver:
- Rear-mounted twin-electric motors
- 456 horsepower
- 679 lb.-ft. of torque
- 0 – 62 mph in 3.9 seconds
- 155 mph top speed
You’ll note that while the A3 Sportback e-tron® is front-wheel drive, the R8 e-tron® is rear-wheel drive to better maintain its sports car driving style. Neither of the current e-tron® models make use of quattro® all-wheel drive, most likely because it wouldn’t be as efficient.
The only major downside of the electrified R8 is that it isn’t currently available in the US. The 2016 model had a limited production run and is strictly made-to-order.
Still, the fact that there’s an all-electric sports car out there gives us a great deal of hope for the future. As hybrid and electric vehicles continue to gain popularity, the technology of the present can only benefit the next model.
The first generation of Audi e-tron® models is impressive in its own right. Just imagine what will be available a couple of years from now.