/Audi A3 Sedan e-tron Concept

Audi A3 Sedan e-tron Concept

Audi A3 e tron 1 at Audi A3 Sedan e tron Concept

Following the hatchback, Audi also revealed the A3 sedan e-tron, based on the A3 concept, at the Auto Shanghai 2011.

This car is a plug-in hybrid consisting of a 211PS 1.4 TFSI four-cylinder engine with turbocharging and petrol direct injection, as well as a start-stop system and an energy recovery system,  and an electric motor with an output of 27PS – combined output 238PS. It does give good performance with 0 to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, and 144mph top speed. But the whole point of it is economy.

In that terms it does 34 miles on electric power alone courtesy of lithium-ion batteries located behind the rear seats with a charge capacity of 12 kWh. The batteries are charged by the energy recovery system when the car is in motion or directly from a household power socket when it is parked. This means that in most cases, the car is entirely emission-free in city driving.

The car is fitted with a compact seven-speed S tronic with both manual and automatic mode, and features MacPherson-multi link suspension. The concept car has 20-inch light alloy wheels while the tyre format is 245/30 at the front and rear. The front brake disks are gripped by four-piston calipers. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) has a Sport mode and can be completely deactivated. The parking brake is actuated electromechanically.

Apart form the technicalities, the car also sets mew standards in terms of exterior design and interior features. Check out details of it in the press release below:

Audi A3 e tron 2 at Audi A3 Sedan e tron Concept

Design and body
The Audi A3 e-tron concept is a four-seat notchback saloon. It measures 4.44 metres long and 1.84 metres wide, but just 1.39 metres high – proportions that underscore its dynamic character.

The styling has all the features of the typical Audi design language. The single-frame grille is integrated into the front end, giving it a sculptured look. Its frame is made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP), and the transversely mounted, three-dimensional aluminium louvres emphasise the showcar’s width. The headlights merge with the bevelled upper corners of the single-frame, forming a transition that marks the starting point of the prominent lines of the bonnet.

The headlights represent a new stage of evolution in LED technology, a groundbreaking innovation from Audi. They become broader as they extend outward, and a line underneath makes them seem to float. Above the front spoiler is a full-length air intake, also made of CFRP, framed by a metal clasp. The spoiler features a splitter that increases the downforce on the front wheels.

When viewed from the side, too, the A3 e-tron concept is instantly recognisable as an Audi – with its harmonious proportions, taut, muscular surfaces and a low roof dome with fluid lines flowing into a flat, coupe-like C-pillar. The shoulder area transitions elegantly into the tailgate. Characteristic of Audi design, the greenhouse accounts for one-third of the height, while the sheet metal makes up the remaining two-thirds.

Powerfully flared wings hint at the power of the engine. Two striking lines accentuate the flank: the undercut tornado line beneath the window edge and the dynamic line above the sills. The exterior mirrors, made of aluminium and CFRP, are perched on top of the window-channel strips. The door handles with their brushed-aluminium clasps are recessed flush with the door. When the driver touches them, they power-extend.

The intelligent interplay between surfaces and lines also defines the tail end of the A3 e-tron concept. The broad, flat tail lights are sculptured and culminate in a point on the inside, and the tailgate bears an elegant spoiler edge. The rear apron includes a diffuser insert of CFRP and metal, which in turn surrounds the two large tailpipes for the exhaust system.

Ultra-modern components, design methods and joining techniques keep the body weight low. One example of this are the custom-tailored blanks (panels of various thicknesses) in the floor area. The doors, bonnet and tailgate are made of aluminium. With its high levels of rigidity, the body provides the basis for the saloon’s precise handling, excellent vibrational comfort and low weight – the Audi A3 e-tron concept tips the scales at just 1,720 kg.

Audi A3 e tron 3 at Audi A3 Sedan e tron Concept

Interior
The interior of the showcar is generously proportioned. The long wheelbase measuring 2.63 metres – a best-in-class figure in the premium compact segment – gives rear passengers generous knee room. The front sport seats with prominent side bolsters are slim and elegant.

The cockpit also gives an impression of lightness and airiness. The horizontal lines emphasise its design and the instrument panel draws the driver in – typical of Audi. Defined in three dimensions, the large trim strip is made of solid aluminium and includes control functions. The high-quality sound system in the doors and on the rear shelf has aluminium trim panels. When the audio system is switched on, they extend a few millimetres, creating a visual accompaniment to the system’s excellent sound.

On the centre console there are four large, round air vents that echo a jet’s design. The air flow is adjusted by pulling and pushing on the centre axis of the vents. The control knobs for the automatic air conditioning system are located in the lower section of the centre console on a raised, dedicated control panel. Visually, they are reminiscent of aeroplane turbines.

Behind the compact, flat-bottomed, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel is an innovative display that makes the individual driving states of the hybrid drive obvious. The tachometer on the instrument cluster has been replaced by a “power meter,” with a needle that indicates the total system output on a scale of 0 to 100 per cent. A second scale is divided into coloured segments. At a glance, the green and orange segments clearly indicate where the A3 e-tron concept is drawing its power – from the electric motor, the combustion engine, or a combination of the two. An additional instrument displays the charge level of the battery.

Between the two large round dials is the large, eight-inch display for the driver information system. This display and the large monitor of the MMI system show the operating states and power flows in the hybrid system in elegant graphics with a three-dimensional effect.

The MMI monitor also displays differentiated consumption and recuperation statistics in easily understandable bar graphs.

The control panel for the MMI multimedia system is located on the centre tunnel console. The interface on its large rotary pushbutton features another novelty – the MMI touch touchpad. This new solution, which makes the already exemplary operation even more intuitive, will soon be introduced in series production. The ultra-thin MMI monitor power-extends upwards out of the instrument panel, another feature taken from the full-size car class.

A UMTS (universal mobile telecommunication standard) module provides full access to the Internet, allowing the car to retrieve online services from Google. Thanks to the WLAN hotspot, passengers can surf and send e-mail to their hearts’ content. iPad holders are installed on the back of the front seat backrests.

A classic notchback saloon, the Audi A3 e-tron concept boasts a large luggage compartment with a volume of 410 litres and a low loading lip.

Audi A3 e tron 4 at Audi A3 Sedan e tron Concept

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(Founder / Chief Editor / Journalist) – Arman is the original founder of Motorward.com, which he kept until August 2009. Currently Arman is our chief editor and is held responsible for a large part of the news we publish.