Only Germany gets mega-frugal A3 and A4, for now
13 February 2007

Audi has divulged plans for a range of fuel-efficient models based on the A3, A3 Sportback and A4, but at the moment there are no plans to bring them to the UK.

Following on from parent company Volkswagen's Bluemotion diesels, the new Audis have been developed in response to increasing calls for more economical and cleaner models. Called the "e" range, Audi’s new line-up will make its debut at the Geneva motor show in March before going on sale in Germany in April.

Kicking off the range are the A3 TDI e and A3 Sportback TDI e. Both are powered by Audi’s standard 1.9-litre four-cylinder pumpe duse diesel delivering 105bhp and 185lb ft of torque.

Changes to the gearbox make fifth and sixth gears taller for improved fuel economy, but Audi is remaining tight-lipped on any other significant modifications and performance prior to the cars' unveiling in Geneva. What it has revealed, though, is a combined average fuel consumption figure of 62.7mpg and an impressive CO2 rating of just 120g/km – making the new Audi duo among the most economical and cleanest cars on offer today.

The changes to the A4 TFSI e, which will be available as both a saloon and estate, appear to go ever further. Along with a taller sixth gear ratio for its manual gearbox, it gets an aluminium bonnet, a rear spoiler (among other aerodynamic enhancements) and 16-inch low rolling resistance tyres. As its name suggests, power comes from Audi’s popular turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine delivering 170bhp and 207lb ft of torque.

Audi quotes 0-62mph in 8.2sec and a top speed of 143mph, but the real focus is on the tweaked A4’s combined average fuel consumption, which is put at an impressive 39.8mpg in the saloon – making it the most economical A4 in the range and giving a theoretical range of over 600 miles.

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Common to all "e" models is a new gearshift indicator light in the instrument cluster, which indicates the optimal shift point according to engine load and speed.

In Germany, where sales begin in April, prices are €22,600 (£15,150) for the A3 TDI e, €23,500 (£15,750) for the A3 Sportback TDI, €29,650 (£19,860) for the A4 TFSI e saloon and €31,300 (£21,000) for the A4 TFSI e Avant.

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