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Audi A3 e-tron hybrid promises 188mpg and hot hatch performance

Audi has launched its latest salvo in the battle against high fuel prices, a new Audi A3 e-tron concept that promises to deliver 188 miles per gallon. The car, which will go on sale at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, is merely a concept at this stage, but the technology lying beneath its unassuming bodywork is expected to inspire future plug-in hybrid A3s.

The A3 e-tron’s 188mpg economy is trumped by the 313mpg expected of the VW XL1, but there are plenty of reasons this particular A3 is still worth considering. It’s incredibly powerful, for one. The car uses a 1.4-litre petrol engine with a peak output of 150PS mated to 75kw electric motor and a six-speed transmission. Working together, the units produce an impressive 204PS, which is good for a 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds and a 138mph top speed. Try that in your Toyota Prius.

It trumps most other commercially available hybrids where economy and emissions is concerned, returning 188mpg on the ECE standard for plug-in hybrid cars, while producing CO2 emissions of 35g/km.

Like all the best plug-in hybrids, the A3 e-tron can be driven on electric power, for 31 miles at a time in this case, at speeds of up to 80mph. When the battery is exhausted, the car can either be recharged using an electrical outlet or run in petrol mode.

The Audi A3 e-tron will on on display for the first time at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

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