Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Audi A3 Plug-in Hybrid Could Wed Clean Diesel and Battery Power

Audi could be in a very good position for attracting attention from green car shoppers. The company introduced an A3 plug-in at the Shanghai auto show this week. The version of the car being presented at the show is an A3 e-tron PHEV with a turbocharged, direct-injection 4-cylinder gas engine with a 20 kiloWatt electric motor and a rechargeable 12-kW-hour lithium-ion battery pack that can go 34 miles on battery before the gas engine kicks in. It will get up to 238 horsepower when gas and electric sources are operating in tandem.

So, what if Audi combined the award winning, high mileage turbocharged diesel engine A3 TDI with its plug-in hybrid technology? I would think the diesel engine range would be farther than the 34 miles the gasoline engine goes. The Edmunds article doesn't mention the diesel engine version. The A3 plug-in hybrid could be on the road by 2013. The gas-powered powered version of the new A3 is due to hit showrooms next year, and Audi also has shown an all-electric version of the present A3 sportwagon. But let's wait and see if clean diesel and plug-in are wedded someday.

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