2016 Audi A3 e-tron Review

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. xcel

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

    Hi Benjamin:

    The outrageous traffic helped. ;) During the full to empty SoC on CC at 60 mph test run, the A3 e-tron went 18.7 miles indicated or 19.1 actual miles.

    Alster, the Malibu Hybrid should be reaching the LA Press Fleet at any time. I made the request but it could be a while.

    Andrew, I was a lot more impressed with its city hybrid efficiency then I was with its highway results despite the EPA highway being significantly higher than the city rating.

    As a hybrid, it does everything we would expect but I think its Achilles heel may be that 2,000 RPM at 60. That large motor and powerful 1.4L TFSI can easily move this car at much lower RPMs as speed increases.

    Dave, yes it does. I have seen glides from 65 on down with 2 percent or steeper grade descents but above 55 mph, you may have to force it on the flats. The programming is brilliant between 5 and 50 mph traffic.

    A NICE-on immediately transitions to ICE-Off. Loved that part as I can control fuel burn at any speed. But, with no SoC indication during Charge Sustaining (CS) mode, you are flying blind.

    There is a slight NVH peak during 1st to 2nd gear shifts under EV mode when beginning to move from a light or from 0 mph in heavy traffic but it is well controlled. Most will not notice it. Above 65 mph and the engine NVH begins to overtake the normally serene interior surrounds too. The higher RPM above 60 mph is unfortunately partly to blame.

    Wayne
     
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  2. Benjamin

    Benjamin Member

    I'd be happy to trade the ICE on the A3 e-tron for a larger battery since I'm satisfied with the size of the included motor (hp and torque). IMG_9420.jpg IMG_8997.jpg
     
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  3. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    Fantastic looking car! My wife gets a kick out of the commercial that they keep playing here and thinks that the A3 could someday find itself into my driveway. She really needs to stop feeding my habit, lol.
     
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  4. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Sure, blame the wife. I'm guilty of considering my next 3 or 4 cars quite often , along with my "lottery" cars. Fantasy beats the hell out of reality any day !
     
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  5. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    The problem is I will try and make it reality, lol! I have started to get a little smarter at this and only buy the wife the new car considering she will hold onto it for 10-12 years. I look at older cars that I drooled over when they first came out (Audi TT Roadster). This way, if I change out every couple of years there is no real loss.

    I am possibly transitioning from the military, so we have already decided to wait on any big purchases until I possibly get out and figure out where we are going to live. As a matter of fact, I might be losing two of the four cars we currently own. One will go to my son in Florida and we will probably sell the Audi instead of trying to move three cars.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  6. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    While the rest of the U.S. is already hard at work, us Californian's are either just going to bed, not going to bed at all or just getting up.

    This is what the Pacific looks like at 05:30 am. PST. What Pacific? ;)

    Almost 100 miles to go before dropping off the fun to drive 2016 Audi A3 e-tron in LA to swap into another weekly review vehicle.

    There is something about an Audi that stirs the soul. This one did as well.

    Wayne
    FB_IMG_1459515682409.jpg
     
  7. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    90 miles on the 5/405 this morning.

    Traffic to Carson, Calif. near Long Beach was moving decently. Can you spell #relieved?

    It is always great seeing a fun to drive vehicle breaking the 50/50 barrier without much work which the 2016 Audi A3 e-tron easily did.

    Wayne

    FB_IMG_1459523375987.jpg FB_IMG_1459523407034.jpg FB_IMG_1459523396970.jpg FB_IMG_1459523385359.jpg
     
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  8. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    When ESI out of LA - Audi's Press Fleet Handlers - came out to pick up the 2016 Audi A3 e-tron from a competitor, they did it in style. As in a 2017 Audi A4 with the 2.0T.

    Audi and their teams across the country have their act together. ;)

    Wayne Gerdes FB_IMG_1459530228954.jpg
     
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  9. Benjamin

    Benjamin Member

    Driving the daily hellish 405/110 LA freeway commute in an A3 e-tron makes it all better.
     
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  10. xcel

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

    Hi Benjamin:

    So true! Love your A3 e-tron's color too.

    Wayne
     
  11. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Wayne; so what happens if you have no choice but have to use 87 octane gas, will this void your warranty. I know the 2011-15 Volt the owners manual states your engine could be damaged and warranty voided if using 87 octane gas.
     
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  12. xcel

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

    Hi Alster:

    I do not know. Using 87 should not void your warranty even for a first gen Volt as that is all that is available in some places. I am not sure however. Benjamin, can you look it up in your owners manual?

    Wayne
     
  13. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    Sorry about the late reply and especially for the poor night shots as I was blindly shooting the displays at 60 mph, swapping between them and trying to keep my eyes on the road in the middle of the night.

    2016 Audi A3 e-tron Charge Battery and EV Mode Case Study

    To begin, temps were between 61 and 62 degrees F with a slight 2 to 3 mph breeze out of the East on the North-South driving segments.

    I set CC at an actual 60 mph per Garmin GPS (61 mph per the speedo and CC) and began Charge Mode from flat at 122.3 miles.

    Audi A3 e-tron Charge Battery Mode

    [​IMG]

    At the 161.3 mile mark - 39.0 miles and 29.1 mpg indicated/39.9 miles at 29.8 mpgUS actual - the pack was full and the Audi A3 e-tron transitioned to Hold Battery mode with 30 miles of EV range displayed.

    I had to turn around on an off-on ramp to come close to the 60 mph actual avg. speed so I was driving at 63 and 64 mph for the leg back until the pack was full in an attempt to run the avg. speed back up to 60 mph. It only reached 59 mph before the pack was full.

    [​IMG]

    After Charge Battery mode, the A3 e-tron defaulted to Hold Battery mode.​

    I turned around again at the next available on-off ramp, got up to speed 60 mph per the Garmin GPS (61 mph per the speedo and CC) and swapped to EV mode at the 164.3 mile indicated mark.

    Audi A3 e-tron EV Mode

    [​IMG]
    ICE On to Off indication in the 1st and 2nd display pics.​

    At the 183.1 mile mark, the Range display kicked up to 30-miles, and .1 mile later, the A3 e-tron transitioned to Hybrid mode.

    [​IMG]

    With CC set at an actual 60 mph for the duration of the EV drive mode, the A3 e-tron covered an indicated 18.9 miles or 19.3 actual miles.

    2016 Audi A3 e-tron Charge Battery and EV mode Case Study Observations

    Why complete this? In an attempt to see if running the Audi A3 e-tron as a simulated quasi series hybrid is even close to just driving it. I used 60 mph as the standard speed in both Charge Battery and EV mode since we can than directly compare to combination to the Speed vs FE chart trace showing 44.4 mpg actual at 60 mph.

    [​IMG]

    The results?

    In Charge Battery mode, the A3 e-tron covered 39.9 miles at 29.8 mpgUS to charge the pack from flat to full. This is 1.34 gallons of fuel consumed.

    In EV Mode, the A3 e-tron covered 19.3 actual miles.

    Adding the two distances up, we have an actual 59.2 miles driven with the start and finish SoC at 0 miles range or flat to 30-miles and full. This was completed on the same calculated 1.34 gallons of fuel.

    Using the Charge Battery Mode from flat to a full SoC and then driving the built up full SoC to flat again under EV Mode allows (59.2 miles/1.34 gal) a calculated 44.2 mpgUS.

    I was skeptical that driving the A3 e-tron as a Series Hybrid and then consuming the SoC added would even come close to just driving it as a Full hybrid until I did the calculations. As they revealed, force charging the 8.8 kWh Li-Ion pack on the highway for later heavy inner city use is not only feasible but recommended!

    Another surprise from the minds behind the scenes at Audi. And thanks go out to the team for offering this mode in their first mass-market plug-in too!

    I will incorporate this single post write-up in the full Review above.

    Wayne
     
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  14. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Hey, I peeked at the media you uploaded. :)

    Let's see if my calcs make sense:

    39.9 miles on gas
    30 miles EV range added
    29.8 mpg during those 39.9 miles
    mpg = (39.9+30)/(39.9/29.8) = 52.206

    I'd say not shabby for 69.9 smooth, highway miles. 44.4 mpg on the steady state speed vs. mpg graph, right?
     
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  15. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    oops, didn't factor in the 19.3 miles vs. 30 EV miles... 44.2 is the new calculated mpg. so pretty close.

    39.9 miles on gas
    19.3 miles EV range added
    29.8 mpg during those 39.9 miles
    mpg = (39.9+19.3)/(39.9/29.8) = 44.2145
     
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  16. xcel

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

    Hi Bill:

    Very close other than the 30-miles of EV range added. I actually drove the e-tron from full to flat at the same CC based 60 mph avg. speed to find out what kind of range was available without me working the car like I would normally. I see you caught the 19.3 miles of range from the post above.

    In any case, I was a skeptic about running the e-tron in a serial like mode but not anymore. :)

    Wayne
     
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  17. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I think Audi should give some credit to FoMoCo. :)
     
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  18. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Hey, Wayne. In retrospect, that was a brilliant experiment you devised to test the potential benefit or badness of the battery charge mode. The data is very clear with minimal distracting factors. Kudos.
     
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  19. xcel

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

    Hi Bill:

    Thanks!

    I had a few days to think about it before heading out in the middle of the night to collect the data. I wish we had a few more nights with the e-tron to compare the same at 50, 55, 65 and 70 mph too but given the correlation at 60 mph, I bet they would be pretty close too.

    Wayne
     
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  20. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    That's really neat! The power electronics and battery in that thing must be insanely efficient to pull off a trick like that.
     
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