Plug-in hybrid model's cancellation is a result of the introduction of WLTP emissions testing
Felix Page Autocar writer
21 November 2018

Audi has dropped the A3 Sportback e-tron from its line-up as a result of the introduction of WLTP emissions regulations, following in the footsteps of a number of plug-in hybrid models, including Audi's Q7 e-tron.

The German firm said the move was down to “procedural changes” rather than any other factor such as sales performance. A total of 637 A3 Sportback e-trons were sold in the UK last year.

The A3 Sportback e-tron was introduced in 2014 as Audi's first production plug-in hybrid.

There are no plans to reintroduce such a powertrain to the current A3, because a new model is expected within the next 18 months.

An Audi spokesperson said: “We will introduce new engine models during changes of generation or product upgrades. Introducing them at this stage in the product lifecycle is not constructive in economic terms.” 

Audi now has no plug-in hybrids on sale, but it is ploughing ahead with its standalone E-tron electric models. Its first production electric car, the E-tron SUV, was revealed in September, and UK deliveries will begin in early 2019.

Our Verdict

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Sitting between the Q5 and Q7 in size, the E-tron marks the beginning of Audi’s planned line-up overhaul, in which 12 fully electric models will be launched by 2025

Audi plans to add 20 models to the e-tron family by 2020, a proportion of which will be plug-in hybrid variants of existing models. 

Alongside more stringent emissions regulations, the plug-in hybrid market in the UK is expected to take a hit after the Government discontinued its £2500 plug-in hybrid grant. Now, only electric cars and hybrids with 70 miles of zero-emissions range (none of which yet exist) are eligible for a £3500 grant.

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Comments
5

21 November 2018
I bet everyone in Inglostadt is cursing the WLTP for having made cheating so difficult. Given their ingenuity when it comes to cheating, deceiving, ducking and diving, it is just a matter of time before some "rogue engineer" helps Volkswagen out if this quandary.

21 November 2018

So for all the relentless PR spin and press releases about their amazing EVs coming in 2020, no actually 2021, sorry, make that 2022... what EVs and hybrids will Volkswagen Group actually sell you? 

Pye

22 November 2018

If this is due to the 1st of Spetember deadline for WLTP how come an Audi garage in Yeovil has a 68 plate A3 E-tron for sale?

 

22 November 2018

There's a derogation that allows non WLTP compliant cars to be registered after the 1st of September but only so many ( something like 2000 or 10 per cent of 2017 sales rings a bell )

I've seen very little comment on this so far but effectively the Euro 6 emission standard is now two tier, cars that comply with 6b-the 2016-18 standard and those that are 6d-the post September regulations, and given the amount of reworking that had to be redone it's pretty clear that many 6b's were lab test only compliant and unable to come anywhere near the required standards in actual on road testing ( which WLTP/RDE brought in )

22 November 2018

..when you cheat at exams and the examiner finds out, then changes the questions.

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