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Audi unveils plug-in hybrid A3 ahead of Geneva debut

The A3 e-tron uses a 148bhp 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine and 100bhp electric motor to power the front wheels, through a new six-speed S tronic gearbox. On a single charge, the car can be driven for up to 31 miles at speeds of up to 81mph, contributing to CO2 emissions of 35g/km on the combined cycle.

This also offers 202bhp, a power hike over the North American market Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, allowing the A3 e-tron to reach 62mph in 7.6 seconds. Audi says the electric motor alone is enough to offer powerful acceleration, while both power sources are deactivated when the driver lifts off the throttle.

Although the A3 is only a technology demonstator at the moment, Audi has in the past hinted that it will launch a plug-in hybrid in this sector. Volkswagen and SEAT are also working on electric and hybrid drivetrains for future models.

Alex Grant

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