Report: Audi A3 hybrid coming in 2012


The new hybrid from Audi will use the same drivetrain found in the hybrid Golf

The new hybrid from Audi will use the same drivetrain found in the hybrid Golf

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Hybrid versions of all sorts of cars - even sports cars like the Nissan 370Z - are in the works or on their way, and now Audi is adding to the list with reports of an A3 hybrid confirmed for production. The hybrid hatch is expected to use an Audi-adapted version of Volkswagen's TwinDrive hybrid powertrain.

The TwinDrive project will be at the heart of a future hybrid Golf, and is also being trialled in a Seat Leon plug-in as well. The TwinDrive system produces about 40hp (30kW) - half the power of the TwinDrive system in the concept Golf revealed last year, and meager by U.S. standards, but the system, once depleted, is backed up by either small petrol or diesel four-cylinders rated at a more typical 105hp (78kW) or more, according to Autocar. Top speed will reach about 105mph (168km/h).

Inside the TwinDrive system lies a 12kWh battery pack of lithium-ion batteries that should be enough to give the car a 30mi (48km) electric-only range. That's enough to rival the Volt plug-in hybrid, and at the Audi's higher market point, hints at a price closer to $50,000.

Efficiency for the combo will be very high, with estimates placing the car's combined electric and regular operating at more than 113mpg. The car is expected to reach commercial buyers in 2012 with retail sales sometime after that, though Audi hasn't yet confirmed any dates.

 
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