Audi's plug-in A3 arrives
It's potentially one of the most game-changing cars of the whole year and now it's on sale in Ireland. Available to order now, and due for delivery from the end of November, the Audi A3 e-tron is Audi's first production plugin-hybrid, promising 37g/km of CO2 with a staggering 188mpg.
That official mileage figure is thanks to a combined petrol and electric drivetrain that uses Volkswagen's familiar 1.4-litre TSI turbo engine combined with a plug-in hybrid module. Charge the batteries (two hours from an on-street charger, three from a domestic socket) and you can go for 50 kilometres on just the batteries, while the combined unit, with a full tank of petrol, has a claimed 900km touring range.
It's not slow either, with Audi claiming an S3-like 0-100km/h time of just 4.9 seconds, thanks to all that lovely low-down electric motor torque. Combined power from the dual system is a GTI-rivalling 204hp.
The list price is actually €47,450, but you'll be able to put one on the road for €39,950 thanks to a €5,000 electric vehicle grant from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and a €2,500 rebate on the Vehicle Registration Tax.
Standard equipment includes MMI Navigation Plus, Xenon headlights, leather upholstery, automatic air conditioning and unique e-tron design alloy wheels.
Audi's first plug-in hybrid is available to order from two specialised Audi e-tron dealers in Ireland: Audi North Dublin and Audi Cork. Their employees are receiving special training in sales and service relating to electric vehicles. Between mid-July and the end of August 2014, Audi provided training to around 2,000 sales, service and used car employees from all over Europe at its Training Centre next to Munich. Among this group were 15 Irish experts whom undertook technical and non-technical training in order to provide service to Irish customers.
The new A3 e-tron will be delivered with a home charging cable that can be used in conjunction with a standard three-pin domestic socket and an industrial socket where available. It will also be provided with a public charging cable for use in over 1,200 public charge points around Ireland.
When will it launch here?
The official Irish launch will take place at the tech-happy Web Summit (for which Audi is the official vehicle provider), which is happening at the RDS Dublin from the 4th to the 6th of November. Christian Gussen, Director of Audi Ireland commented: "With the new Audi A3 e-tron we mark another important step toward sustainable individual mobility. It embodies our innovative technology and Audi's premium claim. Our dealers have already received a very positive level of customer enquiries ahead of the A3 e-tron launch."
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