Audi A3 e-tron

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Audi A3 e-tron

Audi has promised that the next A3 will be available with a full suite of powertrain technologies and this Shanghai motor show plug-in hybrid concept puts another piece of that plan into place.

It's the A3 e-tron e-tron being Audi's way of defining anything that's powered by something more, or less, than an internal combustion engine.

In this case, it has an internal combustion engine a 208 1.4-litre petrol as well as a 27bhp electric motor powered by li-ion batteries.

It can run on electricity alone for up to 34 miles, but put the two power sources together and it an also get from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds and reach 144mph.

Official fuel economy is put at more than 120mpg, although in the real world you're unlikely to reach such a lofty figure.

A seven-speed twin clutch gearbox is fitted to the car, which is also designed to more easily let drivers know how they're using the various power sources in their driving and how much energy they have left in the tank and batteries.

The new A3 arrives in the UK from early in 2012 and will also be available, eventually, as a fully-electric model.