The Los Angeles motor show threw up the opportunity to drive the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, Ingolstadt’s petrol-electric plug-in hybrid, in the hills above Santa Monica. 

It was a pre-production version of the new-for-2014 car, similar to the one driven and reviewed by Richard Bremner back in September

Like Richard, I came away impressed, particularly with the refined way that the A3 e-tron juggles between the 1.4 TFSI engine and the electric motor, how little throttle application is required to keep it trickling along in flowing traffic and, somewhat surprisingly, the confident way it tackles twisty roads.