The 2015 Audi A3 e-tron PHEV Pre-Sales Begin in Germany

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The Drivetrain was derived from the slow selling Jetta Hybrid but with more. A lot more.

    Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG - June 21, 2014

    2015 Audi A3 e-tron PHEV-20 – An expected starting price of an estimated $34,995 USD (see below) incl. D&H while offering an expected 20 + mile all-electric range (AER).

    Following up on our earlier write-up (From the Floor of the 2014 NYAIS: Audi’s 2015 A3 TDI Sportback Confirmed for U.S.), here is a lot more detail on the upcoming PHEV from the Brand of Four Rings.

    2015 Audi A3 e-tron PHEV-20 U.S. Pricing guesstimates

    The 2015 Audi A3 e-tron is priced in Germany at $51,517 to start while the base 2015 A3 sedan with the 2.0L TFSI I4, 6-speed S-tronic, and quattro AWD is priced to start at $48,338. A similar equipped 2015 A3 sedan with the 2.0L TFSI I4, 6-speed S-tronic, and quattro AWD here in the U.S. starts at $32,900 so interpolating, the e-tron may arrive for as little as $35,078 to start. With a 20-mile PHEV range, it would qualify for a $3,750 Federal tax credit and HOV lane access in both California and New York.

    2015 Audi A3 e-tron PHEV-20 Overview

    The Audi A3 e-tron PHEV-20 is rated at 31.1 miles AER on the NEDC so a little over 20-miles on the EPA. The five-door compact hatch with its 150 hp 1.4L TFSI engine. Think of the Jetta Hybrids engine but instead of being mated to a 27 hp engine and 7-speed DSG, it is mated to a much larger 100 hp electric motor integrated into a newly developed six-speed S tronic.

    The liquid cooled Li-Ion battery has a capacity of 8.8 kWh and can be charged in approximately two hours from a Level2 charging station. Precooling/heating is also included in the package.

    With the drivetrain combination producing 204 total system hp and 258.1 lb-ft torque, the Audi A3 e-tron is delving into “Hot Hatch” territory while offering the greenest credentials available when on the plug. The “hot” part arises from its ability to reach 60 in under 7.5 seconds and offering a 138 mph top speed. Both will/should never be used of course.

    In electric mode, top speed is limited to 81 mph which is just above the EPA US06 high-speed test threshold. Imagine that. ;)

    Thanks to the lightweight design, the five-door hatch has a curb weight of 3,395 lb, just 220 pounds more than the A3 1.8L sedan while offering space for five and some luggage.


    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Deep Dive into the Drivetrain

    The drivetrain of the A3 Sportback e-tron comprises three units: a 1.4 TFSI engine, an electric motor and a newly developed six-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The 1.4 TFSI was moved 2.4 in to the right in the engine compartment to make room for the additional components. Its crankcase is made of lightweight aluminum, and the entire engine weighs just 220.5 lb.

    The I4 is state-of-the-art. The turbocharger uses an electric bypass valve, a compact intercooler to the thermal management system with a high-performance coolant pump module. Its heart is the exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head providing quick warms, and at high load the water jacket reduces the temperature of the exhaust gas. The coolant loop for the TFSI also incorporates the oil cooler for the S tronic.

    The hybrid concept of the A3 Sportback e-tron often does not activate the combustion engine until kickdown, even when cold. The A3 Sportback e-tron therefore includes special protective features, such as coated piston rings and bearings.

    The electric motor is a liquid-cooled permanently excited synchronous unit weighing in at 75.0 lb. The electric motor is located behind the engine's dual-mass flywheel and includes a decoupling clutch. When the combustion engine starts, it is tow-started by the electric motor via the clutch. Once it reaches the same speed as the electric motor, the clutch closes within a few tenths of a second.

    The electric motor/declutch unit is integrated into a newly designed six-speed S tronic, which transfers the power to the front wheels of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. The dual-clutch transmission features a three-shaft layout. Its two subsidiary transmissions are served by the multi-plate clutches K1 and K2, which are immediately downstream of the declutch unit K0. Gears are shifted by switching the clutches. This takes just a few hundredths of a second and occurs with no detectable interruption of propulsive power.


    Additional components to the electric motor, battery, power electronics and charger are provided to support electric driving. The A/C compressor uses an electric drive integrated into the high-voltage electrical system. A thermoelectric heating element and an optional gasoline-powered auxiliary heater round out the cabin heating system. This last piece of hardware “may” be specific to Europe.

    An electric brake servo supports braking in the A3 Sportback e-tron. The generator enables the regeneration of braking energy in all situations. The brake management system supports this by precisely coordinating hydraulic and electric braking. The driver has a sporty and precise brake feel at all times.

    The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is almost always started electrically, except at very low temperatures, in extremely hot conditions or when battery charge is very low. Think of it like a very advanced IMA system in this regard. In electric mode, interior noise in the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is lower than a luxury sedan.

    At a constant 62.1 mph in EV mode, Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is generally only the electric motor that is in operating if there is sufficient State of Charge (SOC). If the driver floors the accelerator, hybrid mode is activated and the combustion engine adds to the electric motors output. In S mode, the combustion engine is on much more of the time. In S mode, the system recovers energy via regeneration whereas in D mode the hybrid system deactivates both drives and switches into glide mode just like the Jetta Hybrid. Now “aint” that cool.

    An EV button on the instrument panel can be used to choose between four drive modes:
    • “EV” prioritizes the electric drive. The “charge” setting is used to charge the battery as quickly as possible while driving.

    • In “hybrid hold” mode, the energy is stored in the battery for later use, such as for urban driving nearer a given city destination.

    • “S-mode” prioritizes performance over efficiency with the engine running far more often.

    • In “auto,” optimal use is made of the electrical energy in combination with the combustion engine to achieve minimal fuel consumption even over longer distances.
    Battery and charging

    The 8.8 kWh Li-Ion battery has a voltage range of between 280 and 390 volts. The battery comprises 96 prismatic cells arranged into eight modules of twelve cells each. Including the electronic components – the battery management controller and the battery junction box for the connections – the battery system weighs 275.6 lb. The bottom shell of its housing is made of die cast aluminum, the top shell of polymer.


    The high-voltage battery has an ideal operating temperature of around 25 degrees Celsius. It therefore has a sophisticated liquid cooling system in which four cooling plates regulate the temperature of the eight modules. Cooling is by means of a separate, flexibly controlled low-temperature loop, which also includes the power electronics and charger, as necessary.

    Installed under the rear seat, the flat battery is extremely well protected in an area where the high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel components of the occupant cell form an especially strong structure. The housing is bolted to the vehicle floor at five points. In the event of a crash sufficiently severe to trigger the belt tensioners or airbags, the system is disconnected from the power supply.

    The 12V battery for the low-voltage consumers and the 10.6 US gallon fuel tank are located over the rear axle. The luggage compartment has a capacity of just 9.9 cu ft with the rear seats up and 39.6 cu ft with the rear seats down.

    The power electronics in the engine compartment include a DC/DC converter for connecting to the 12-volt electrical system weighs just 22.0 lb. Six high-performance transistors convert the direct current supplied by the battery into three-phase AC for the electric motor.

    When charging the A3 Sportback e-tron, the charger converts the incoming AC into DC for the battery. The charging port is located in the Singleframe grille behind the four rings. Besides a status light, there are also two buttons to either start the charging process immediately or via a timer for the next trip. Timer charging can also be programmed via a special menu in the MMI navigation plus or the new Audi connect e-tron services.

    The Charging system


    The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron comes standard with a charging system comprised of a control unit with graphical display, a car cable and two power cables. For home use, the e-tron charging cable can be mounted in a design wall box (standard with the e-tron plus package). The charging dock can be locked to protect the equipment against theft, and a PIN code provides additional security.

    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Audi connect e-tron services

    Audi connect is the label for innovative online services for the A3 Sportback e-tron that allow drivers to control and regulate the cars functions remotely. Audi has developed an app with informative graphics that runs on modern iOS and Android smartphones. Audi also offers a special web portal for, among other things, the registration and activation of the services.

    The Audi connect e-tron services enable drivers to remotely check the status of the car including the battery charge, all-electric range, and a variety of service information and the car's location. Drivers can also manage charge planning remotely. They have the option of starting and stopping charging or setting the timer to reflect when they next plan to drive the car. They specify in detail at what time on what days they want to drive off with the battery fully charged.

    The climate control planning function is used to activate the A/C or the optional aux heater on an ad hoc basis or according to a timer schedule. In the latter case, which is referred to as preheating or cooling, the car draws the energy required from the outlet so as not to compromise the electric range. Owners can view a variety of driving data, such as average electricity consumption or average speed, on the web portal.

    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Chassis

    Some of the components of the front suspension are made of aluminum. The four-link rear suspension handles longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The highly precise power steering system features direct gearing and efficient electromechanical drive. Electronic stabilization control (ESC) with two-stage deactivation also includes torque vectoring.

    The driver can use Audi drive select to configure the character of the car according to the modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. The system, which comes standard, also controls the optional components adaptive cruise control and adaptive light.


    Although German specific trims are mentioned below, expect two or three trim lines here in the U.S.

    The German Attraction and Ambiente trim lines include 16 in wheels with low rolling-resistance 205/55 R16 tires. The Ambition line comes standard with 17 in alloys and low rolling-resistance 225/45 R17 tires. Additional 17 and 18-in wheels in a variety of designs are also available.

    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Body

    The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is based on the modular transverse matrix. Hot-shaped steels reduce weight in the occupant cell because their extremely high strength allows for thin wall thicknesses. The engine hood and front fenders are made of aluminum.

    The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is 14.1 ft long, 5.9 ft wide and 4.7 ft tall.

    Subtle details document the special status of the PHEV model. The Singleframe grille is matt black and contains 14 fine, horizontal chrome struts. At the rear, the newly designed apron encompasses a platinum gray diffuser with two chrome-plated horizontal slats and two side reflectors. The exhaust system tailpipe is invisible. e-tron badges adorn the Singleframe, the luggage compartment hatch and the fenders. There are 13 paint finishes from which to choose.

    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Inside

    Like the A3 sedan, the A3 Sportback e-tron instrument panel is slim and flat with the center console oriented toward the driver. The large, round air vents in jet design and the sculpted trim strips bring full-size-class elegance into the cabin.

    Unfortunately a powermeter takes the place of the tach in the instrument cluster but does show SOC. The tach however can be shown in the display between the speedometer and the powermeter. Whew, that was close. ;)

    The monitor for the optional MMI navigation plus uses sophisticated graphics to visualize the energy flows in the hybrid system. The entire display and operating concept is clear and intuitive. The energy flow visualization has just about run its course so you do not need to see it if you do not want it. A simple EV light would suffice.

    e-tron logos are found on the door sill trims, the handle of the S tronic selector lever and in the right section of the cockpit. Seat materials and inlays vary depending on the trim.


    The S line sport package is all black. The sport seats are covered in a combination of fabric and leather; the inlays are matt, brushed aluminum, and the steering wheel is flattened at the bottom. 18-inch wheels provide for even sportier handling. Optionally available in the S line sport package are S sport seats with integrated backrests and upholstery in leather/Alcantara or Fine Nappa leather, inlays in a black, 3D look and the custom color Daytona Gray pearl effect. We do not know what will arrive here but expect a similar S-Line treatment.

    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron Standard Equipment

    The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is includes deluxe automatic A/C (???), a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel, MMI radio, Audi drive select, driver information system with color display, convenience key, leather selector lever knob, e-tron charging system and LED headlights.

    Safety equipment comprises seven airbags (including knee airbag for the driver), ISOFIX retention systems at the outer rear seating positions and the secondary collision brake assist. This automatically brakes the car following a collision, thus reducing the risk of another collision.

    Unfortunately Audi continues to rear side airbags as optional equipment in Germay and will probably do the same here. Considering the entire Chevrolet lineup consists of 10-airbags as std. including the diminutive $13K Spark, I have to wonder why this product decision continues?

    Options include the power-adjustable and heated front seats, panoramic glass roof, dark-tinted privacy glass, auxiliary heater and the charging cable for public charging stations. Some stations in Europe in aprticuarlk do require you to use your own cord.

    The Bang & Olufsen Sound System and MMI navigation plus are at the top of the option list. Do not expect them to come cheap. Like the larger A6/A7/A8 here in the U.S., a seven-inch monitor extends electrically from the instrument panel. The user terminal has a rotary/push button control and MMI touch, which together form the touchwheel – the top of which is a touch-sensitive pad for inputting characters. Working in the background of the system is a fast graphics processor from Audi's partner, Nvidia.

    As a perfect complement to MMI navigation plus, Audi connect will provide a 4G LTE connection to the Internet here in the U.S. The WLAN hotspot lets passengers use as many as eight mobile devices to surf and e-mail. Besides charging and pre-heating/cooling scheduling, Audi connect brings additional online services to the car that provide the driver with tailored information.

    Audi assistance systems begins with the automatic distance control system adaptive cruise control, which warns the driver of a detected, impending collision with the vehicle ahead and initiates braking, if necessary. Additional systems are Audi side assist, which enhances safety when changing lanes, Audi active lane assist, which helps the driver to remain in the lane, and the safety systems Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front, which in certain situations take preventive measures to protect the occupants. The park assist system with selective display automatically steers the A3 Sportback e-tron into suitable spaces.

    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

    In Germany presales have already begun with the first cars expected to reach owners this winter.

    The most important markets for the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron are the United States, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Customers in these countries have a strong interest in sustainable products. They also appreciate the classic strengths of the Audi brand: high-end technology, uncompromising workmanship, sportiness and elegant design.

    In Germany, Audi is selling the A3 Sportback e-tron via a network of some 100 selected dealerships. Their service employees have been specially trained to work with high-voltage technology. Furthermore, each e-tron dealership has an electric charging station. Customers can use these free of charge during business hours.


    2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron early conclusions

    That should be enough detail. Especially the ability to own an Audi A3 PHEV-20 5-door hatch for under $30k after credits and tax incentives. Just be very careful with the option list.
  2. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    CA hit the 40K quota last month on green HOV stickers for PHEV vehicles. So no more HOV access unfortunately for new PHEV's to be sold now:-(.

    I believe price was rumored to be just under $40K. That's still pretty good for luxury brand PHEV after federal rebate. Cargo space is 25% smaller but since it's hatchback that's probably still pretty decent.

    Looking at German site there's still no configurator or complete specs. IIRC Audi is not planning to manufacture a lot so might be hard to get. And here in US hopefully we see them not selling a lot above MSRP.
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Luke:

    The Green Sticker program in Calif. was supposed to include another 45,000 stickers sometime this month. Not sure if it passed yet but it was making its way through the Calif. Legislature when I left in May.

    Regarding pricing, it is all still a guesstimate but a good guesstimate. Audi needs those credits and at $40k, it would be a very tough sell. The price in Germany was just $3,179 USD more than the 2.0L quattro. On a percentage basis, the PHEV is 6.6 percent more costly than the 2.0L quattro in Germany and I used that percentage on the $32,900 base price of the 2.0L quattro here to come up with the $34,995 ($35,064 USD) price tag.

    If Audi dealerships play games with the price, they will find few takers. It is a very tight sub-compact with just 86 cu. ft. of passenger volume and in that realm, there are a few larger offerings with just as much performance. Your 14 Accord PHEV-13 being a good cross shop as it includes far more "stuff" std. than the base Audi A3 PHEV-20ish does.

    A few thoughts of my own anyway...

  4. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    " Audi A3 PHEV-20 5-door hatch for under $30k after credits..."

    Sounds too good to be true... So it probably is. But If we're talking 40+ mpg highway (and at that price) you might find me kicking tires at the Audi dealership.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    Me too. :)

  6. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    At least the number of choices are opening up for fuel efficient hybrid electric vehicles are picking up. Remember when it was either a HCH or a Prius? ;-)


  7. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Hi Wayne,

    Ah I didn't know that! Looks like it should be approved soon if not already. Couldn't find more info on that except it's in last stages (AB-2013). Another 45K that's quiet a lot...

    The price estimate might be right since looking at Q5 Hybrid it's slightly more than 1:1 in Europe. Several sources said in past that this will be very low volume so maybe like the Accord PHEV.

    I'm relocating in couple of months to WA and I found my Accord PHEV can't be really serviced there since it's not sold there:-(. So looks like I have to sell it already. I was hoping Honda would expand it to sell everywhere:-(.
  8. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    So where's that TDI e-tron?!! What's the use of the WEC victories
    and then giving us the gasoline version?

    Mid-40s MPG isn't so impressive if the TDI itself is already there,
    hence the need for TDI e-tron to get into the 50s, into Toyota's
    territory. I do like the guesstimated pricing for the TFSI e-tron,

    re: Luke - moving to WA and unable to service the Accord PHEV -
    I hope you find a good way to keep your car. It would be such a
    shame having to give it up for service reasons.

  9. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Hi Bill, thanks certainly wished I could keep the car. But for anything other than regular oil change I'd have to drive 800+ miles so that will not work really:-(.

    There are 2 diesel PHEV's that I know off in Europe: Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4 and the Volvo V60 PHEV. Both are way too expensive (57K Euro's for V60!). And both don't have as good combined ratings than a Prius despite the TDI engine. Economically I don't think interesting especially if you can use EV mode most of the time.

    If the Audi A3 E-tron would have similar efficient hybrid system as Toyota/Honda Accord then we'd be looking at higher ratings so still lot of room left for Audi to further optimize their system instead.
  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member


    EPA rates the jetta 1.4 hybrid at 42/48/45.

    Fuelly has the average at 40.1.

    Downsides: (AFAIK) premium fuel, no tow capability, typical VW maintenance quality
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  11. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Some additional info on release date from Automotive news interview with Audi:

    So US sales will start mid 2015. Quite a long time considering first test drives were in 2013 so hope they had enough time to refine it.
    I heard before that Q7 would also get PHEV model but didn't know A6 (L) is only for China.

    I wonder how many US dealerships will be trained for A3 E-tron (hopefully not same issue I'll have that I can't service my Accord PHEV in WA and have to sell it).
  12. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    If anyone is struggling with an electric car purchase decision,… this could make the difference:

    BREAKING: Nissan Prices LEAF Battery Replacement at $5,499, New Packs More Heat Durable

    /THE biggest EV news we've had ….. ever.

    With installation, let's say it's $6,000. Make the assumption that the battery is going to last 8,10, 12 + … years and you're driving x thousand miles per year. It's not hard for the Leaf to beat an ICE car in TCTO just on fuel alone …. before we even start talking about maintenance (and very likely increasing gasoline prices).

    Nice job Nissan, this is huge.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
  13. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Thanks , Carcus. This does help give me a gentle shove in that direction. Though I drive
    ( at the moment) too many miles for their nice lease deal , I could just purchase the car and drive the wheee out of it for 25K miles a year.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Some more 2015 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron coolness. ;)


  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And another. ;)



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