•  2014 Audi A3 e-Tron coming to U.S. market
  •  Details on exactly when are unknown
  •  Range unknown; expect 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft

A plug-in hybrid Audi A3 is coming to the U.S. market, though Audi has not yet specified exactly when shoppers can expect it. The announcement comes only a month after the brand debuted the plug-in hatchback at this year's Geneva Auto Show.

Audi confirmed it would sell the A3 e-tron in the U.S. at the New York Auto Show earlier this month. At the show, Audi rolled out an all-new A3, which will likely go on sale next year. But while Audi only showed the new A3 as a sedan, the e-Tron shown in Geneva was a hatchback like today's model.

That leaves those hopeful for plug-in hybrids asking a lot of questions. For example: Will Audi roll out the plug-in hybrid A3 e-Tron before the hatchback is replaced next year? Or will the all-new A3 offer a hatchback body style in addition to the sedan shown in New York?

Audi hasn't provided any answers. But the brand did offer several specifics about the A3 e-Tron shown in Geneva. Those details include power numbers -- 204 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque -- along with several other powertrain details. In addition to its electric motor, for example, the hatchback uses a 1.4-liter 4-cylinder. And a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard.

Aside from the engine, the A3 e-Tron shown in Geneva was updated from today's A3 model. It included new headlights and new front and rear fascias. But the hatchback's overall profile was largely the same as today's A3.

If Audi does roll out the A3 e-Tron soon, it will be one of the first upscale plug-in models on the market. Aside from the Fisker Karma and all-electric Tesla Model S, most plug-in cars are small hatchbacks like the Chevrolet Volt, Ford Focus Electric and Toyota Prius Plug-In. That is likely to change before long, as Cadillac is planning to roll out a Volt-based plug-in hybrid called the ELR. Plug-in hybrid models from Land Rover and Porsche are also on the way.

What it means to you: While details are scarce, the 2014 Audi A3 e-Tron will offer a plug-in hybrid drivetrain when it debuts in the U.S.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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