Currently reading: Audi axes A3 Sportback e-tron
Plug-in hybrid model's cancellation is a result of the introduction of WLTP emissions testing

Audi has dropped theAudi 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.

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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 Audi 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.

Audi a3 e tron rt 2014 14 0

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Sitting between the Audi Q5 and Audi 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.

Read more

Audi A3 Sportback e-tron review

Audi E-tron: brand's first fully electric model to cost £70,805

Audi E-tron GT sports saloon to get ‘power focus’

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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405line 22 November 2018

That's what happens..

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

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?


Stewart_Peters 22 November 2018

There's a derogation that

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 )

Bob Cat Brian 21 November 2018

Champagne dreams, lemonade reality

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?