Dutch magazine AutoWeek test drives, reviews and compares the BMW i3 and Audi A3 e-tron.
While the BMW i3 is offered in Europe and U.S. as well, the Audi A3 e-tron is, for now, just an European affair. Also, the i3 is a fully electric vehicles or with a range extender as tested here, while the A3 e-tron is a plug-in hybrid.
The components that make up the e-tron’s hybrid powertrain are a transversely mounted petrol engine, in this instance a 148 hp 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo petrol unit, and 101 hp electric motor, fed by a 125kg, 8.8kWh lithium ion battery mounted beneath the rear seats.
Audi says the four-cylinder petrol unit used in the e-tron is one of its most advanced engines. The turbocharged motor, which uses an aluminium crankcase, is claimed to weigh just 100kg. The electric motor weighs 34 kg and it’s placed between the flywheel and a specially modified six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, with the motor’s power converter located overhead.
Total system outputs are 201 hp and 258 lb-ft.
The all-electric range is only 31 miles.
In order to reduce range anxiety, BMW i3 REx comes with a rear-mounted 650cc, 34 hp, two-cylinder, gasoline- powered Range Extender generator is available, which roughly doubles the vehicle’s range. When the battery gets to a certain level, the Range Extender starts and maintains the battery’s current state of charge.
The 170 hp electric motor and one speed transmission are good for a 0-60 second time of 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 93 mph. The i3 Range Extender with its 1.9 gallon tank for the on board gas electric generator provides 120-185 miles.
Let’s take a look at the video below and please turn on the caption for English subtitles.