Behind the wheel: 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron hybrid

Welcome to the future. Audi’s entry into the hybrid electric car world, the 2016 A3 Sportback e-tron, truly represents the future of personal automotive transporation.

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron on charge

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron on charge

On one hand, it’s packed with the latest hybrid and electric vehicle technology, allowing you to approach 90 MPGe using the hybrid system. On the other hand, it’s a beautifully designed, well-built Audi that with 204 HP (using both the gasoline and electric motors) and Audi’s race-proven driving dynamics, creates a fun performance driving experience true to the Audi brand.

This PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) comes with both an electric and gasoline engine which can be used in tandem or individually. The system has four settings adapting to a range of driving conditions. EV Mode operates the car in an electric-only mode with the high-voltage battery system providing about 16 miles of range. In Hybrid Mode, the car automatically selects which engine should be used based on the driving conditions. The Hold Battery Mode operates the car in hybrid mode, but preserves the charge of the battery for later use. Charge Battery Mode uses just the gasoline engine to power the car and to charge the battery while driving. The settings are controlled by a switch and are switchable when the car is driving or parked.

The tech

Like all Audi models, the A3 e-tron is available with a wonderful suite of infotainment options, all controlled by the easy-to-use MMI touch system. Audi connect is a subscription-based service that features Google Earth, Google Voice Search, a proprietary traffic guidance system along with fuel prices, parking info, music streaming and internet radio. Other tech goodies include the use of Google Earth and 3D satellite technology. The car is a moving Wi-fi hotspot, offering full 4G LTE (powered by AT&T) for up to eight devices.

The A3 Sportback e-tron offers the full suite of Audi safety features like multiple airbags, along with some electronic collision countermeasures. There’s a wide-sweeping side assist system that detects and alerts the driver to other traffic next to them, as well as an optional active lane assist system. This reads the lines in the road and gently nudges the steering wheel when it senses the car is drifting over the lines on either side.

Read more: Examiner

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