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GALLERY: Audi A3 E Tron Review

But it’s quite a bit more than that. For one thing, the e-tron is the only A3 hatchback currently for sale in the United States. More important, there’s the hybrid powertrain. An 8.8-kWh battery tucked underneath the rear seats powers a 102-hp electric motor that also makes 243 lb-ft of torque. Add the e-tron’s 150-hp 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the mix, and the total system output is 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft.

The firm’s flirtation with electric propulsion has been prolonged – the original R8-styled e-tron concept was shown at Geneva five years ago – but the Sportback is the first production model to actually adopt the badge. Its not the only Audi or Volkswagen Group member to adopt a hybrid system, with the Q7 e-tron , Golf GTE and Passat GTE  all part of the fraternity.

The Audi RS 3 is derivative of the A3 Sportback with a 5-cylinder, 2,480 cc (151 cu in) turbocharged engine rated 340 PS (250 kW; 335 hp) and 450 N·m (332 lb·ft), vermicular-graphite cast iron crankcase, seven-speed S tronic transmission with two automatic modes and one manual mode, Quattro on-demand four-wheel drive system, widened track to 1,564 mm (61. 57 in), MacPherson strut in aluminum, lowered body by 25 mm (0. 98 in), 19-inch cast aluminum wheels in machine-polished titanium styling (optional black with a red rim flange) with 235/35 front and 225/35 rear tires, 370 mm (14. 57 in) front and 310 mm (12. 20 in) ventilated brake discs, aluminum brake disk covers, four-piston fixed calipers in high-gloss black with RS logos, electronic stabilization program with Sport mode, flared front fenders made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP), prominent sill panels and exterior-mirror casings in matte aluminum, roof spoiler, high-gloss black diffusor insert, two elliptical exhaust tailpipes on the left, black interior, sports seats upholstered in Fine Nappa leather with silver contrasting stitching, inlays in Piano black finish or Aluminum Race colour, flat-bottomed leather multifunction sports steering wheel, choice of 5 body colors are available with an unlimited selection of custom paint finishes. It's acceleration is quoted as 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 4. 6 seconds, with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h). Optional features included front bucket seats, roof rails in matte aluminum look, styling packages in black or matte aluminum.

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