Audi came to Geneva in 2013 with a mix of performance and fuel economy.
On one hand Audi unveiled production version of 2 alternative fuel powered A3 5 door vehicles, the A3 e-tron and the Natural gas powered g-tron.
The e-tron moniker is well known across the Audi lineup with various models including the R8 sports car and mid-sized Q5 SUV. With the A3 e-tron, Audi has finally brought its first E-tron model to the market place. Audi CEO Rupert Stadler promised that the e-tron model designation will eventually cross most of not all models produced by Audi.
The E-tron A3 apparently fresh from hot weather testing was unveiled sporting a plug-in hybrid system powered with a 75 kilowatt electric motor supplemented with a 4 cylinder TFSI gasoline engine. The e-tron can reportedly run in all electric mode for up to 50 kms. The drive system on the e-tron has a combined power output of 204 HP and a top speed of 204 kms/hr. Audi estimates a fuel consumption rate of 1.5L/100 kms for a projected range of 1000 kms, which if accurate, would be spectacular.
The g-tron system was a follow up to an earlier technical display of carbon neutral natural gas being produced in Audi labs. The gas used for testing the A3 g-tron is a synthetically manufactured fuel manufactured in Germany but its will also run traditional pumped-from-the-ground natural gas. These models will only be sold in the domestic German market. A 1.4L gasoline engine kicks in once the g-tron runs out of compressed gas. With the combined fuel systems, the g-tron boasts a range of 1300 kms, supposedly enough to drive from the Audi factory in Inglostadt, Germany to the Lamborghini plant in Sant Agata Bolognese, Italy and back without stopping for fuel. I sense the need for a challenge.
Aside from saving the environment, Audi revealed two RS models in Geneva, the RSQ3 as well as the RS6 Avant. Truth be told the RS6 had been leaked earlier but had its official auto show reveal here in the Swiss Alps.
The RSQ3 features the power-train from the tantalizing TTRS, a five cylinder 2.5L turbo-charged engine producing 310HP and 309 lb-ft of torque. The RS treatment includes a lowered Q3 body fitted with fat low profile tires and aero skirting.The RS Q3 reportedly runs from a standing start up to 100 kms/hr in 5.5 seconds and is limited to a top speed of 250 kms/hr.
While it seems the Q3 will eventually come to Canada there is no word on the hot rod compact SUV crossing the Atlantic at this point.
The RS6 uses the same twin-turbo-charged 4.0L V8 engine found in the S6. How is this possible? Well in the milder model, the V8 coughs up a mere 420HP. After some tweaking power output rises to an astonishing 560HP with 516 lb-ft of torque when its it planted in the RS6 Avant. The swift wagon, which weighs 220 pounds less than its predecessor, will reportedly accelerate from 0-100 kms/hr in under 4 seconds.
Top speed can be bought in stages. The standard model has its top speed limited to 250 kms/hr. A dynamic package raises that to 280 kms/hr whilst a Dynamic Plus option unleashes a 305 km/hr top speed.