With its small form and plug-in hybrid powertrain, the A3 E-Tron is one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles in Audi‘s lineup. But it’s apparently not “green” enough by the new standards, so Audi’s dropping it (from its UK lineup at least).
Audi introduced the E-Tron version of its A3 Sportback hatch in 2014. It pairs a 1.4-liter turbo four with an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch to deliver a combined 204 hp (150 kW) and 258 lb-ft (329 Nm) of torque. It’ll run to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.6 seconds, and deliver equivalent economy of 83 mpg (by US standards).
As efficient as those figures may seem, Autocar reports that they don’t meet the new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (abbreviated WLTP). So it’s being dropped from the British market, and likely across Europe as well. This after the Q7 E-Tron plug-in crossover was dropped for the same reasons, leaving the German automaker with no hybrids to sell in the UK. And with a new A3 coming in about a year and a half, Audi won’t be re-certifying and re-introducing it in its current iteration under the new testing regime.
The A3 E-Tron is still available in the US, though, where it remains the only version of the A3 Sportback available, and carries a starting price of $39,500. That makes it $7,550 more expensive than the base A3 sedan, $1,150 more than the A3 cabriolet, and just $4,150 less than the S3 performance sedan. It’s also $3,500 more than the larger A4 sedan, and $6,600 more than the Q3 crossover – but barely more than half the price of the new all-electric E-Tron crossover that represents the start of Audi’s new EV lineup.