Paris: Audi plugs a green gap with a new A3 image

An Audi A3 Plug-in hybrid will be launched into Britain and Europe in 2014.

It will be sold as a four door saloon in the A4 series, which already has the hatch and sportswagon styles, but it will be Audi’s first plug in and will share a development of the 1.4 TFSI petrol engine, said Heiko Pabst von Ohain, head of Audi product marketing for its A3 family.

“We have not rushed into the Plug-In sector because our engineers wanted to ensure we had the best system for our customers and after the success of the A3 and the A4 we wanted to add the Plug-In,” he said.

Audi believe it will be vital to have a Plug-In for the mid-sized sector but it is also working on the induction charged systems as well to overcome differing charging rates around the world and which can be better controlled by induction systems.

The A4 saloon is expected to take a small share of the A4 UK sales but it is going to be a much more significant proportion in the US, Africa and China, he added.

It is also looking into future models with fuel cells but the storage and refuelling networks made widespread adoption unlikely before 2020, says Audi.