Marc Carter

TEST DRIVE: Audi Gives Us the Keys to an A3 e-tron Electric Car Prototype

by , 06/15/12

Audi, Audi A3, Audi A3 e-tron, Audi R8, Audi R8 e-tron, electric vehicles, green transportation, e-tron, Jeff Curry, electric cars, green car

Audi just gave us a quick drive behind the wheel of a prototype of its upcoming A3 e-tron electric car — which won’t hit the streets for another two years! Although the A3 e-tron we drove will look different on the outside when it’s released, the all-electric powertrain was real and provides even more hope for the full adoption of electric vehicles in the industry. We also had a chance to interview Audi’s Director of E-Mobility, Jeff Curry about the A3 e-tron and the future of Audi’s electric lineup – hit the jump for more!

Audi, Audi A3, Audi A3 e-tron, Audi R8, Audi R8 e-tron, electric vehicles, green transportation, e-tron, Jeff Curry, electric cars, green car

Electric car buyers are about to get even more options in the next few years with new models coming from BMW, Infiniti and Audi. Unlike the current electric vehicles from Ford, GM and Nissan, the new models like the BMW i3 and Audi A3 e-tron will bring electric models to the luxury segment. Although Audi and BMW are both preparing new electric cars, they are each taking different approaches. The BMW i3, which has been previewed by the i3 concept, is a new model from the ground up that does not share its body with any other BMW model. It’s also being launched under the new BMW i sub-brand.

Audi is at the other end of the spectrum. Instead of building a new dedicated electric vehicle, Audi has chosen to create electric versions of its current lineup. This means that the A3 e-tron will look almost identical to the gasoline and diesel-powered A3 models. Audi’s Director of E-Mobility, Jeff Curry, stated that Audi’s research suggested that Audi customers that would be interested in an electric vehicle, still wanted to drive an “Audi”. So this means that the Audi A3 and other future Audi e-tron models will look almost identical to the models in which they are based on.

So how does it drive? Well if it wasn’t for the silent engine and different gauges, you probably wouldn’t realize that you are driving a full electric car. The A3 e-tron drives almost exactly the same as the other A3 models. Of course it’s not quite as fast as the turbocharged A3, but it definitely has the power to get up and go. Read on to find out more about our test drive!

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