The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron is starting the new model year with a technology update. Thanks to its increased CNG tank volume, the compact model can cover around 400 kilometres (248.5 miles) (WLTP cycle) in gas operation. Presales at dealerships in Germany will kick off on March 7. The basic price will be EUR 30,600.
The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron forms part of an integrated and sustainable mobility concept from the brand with the four rings. Equipped with a new 1.5 TFSI engine producing 96 kW (131 metric hp), the A3 Sportback g-tron sets standards for efficiency and economy. To enable the four-cylinder engine to run on these fuels, Audi engineers modified its cylinder head, turbocharging, fuel injection system and catalytic converter. Compared to petrol, combustion of natural gas emits 25 percent less CO2 due to the lowest carbon content of all hydrocarbons. In addition, particulate emissions remain very low.
Just as before, there are two tanks made of glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP/CFRP) beneath the luggage compartment floor of the five-door car, each of which hold roughly seven kilograms (15.4 lb) of gas. They reduce luggage space only marginally and are constructed from a composite material, making them very lightweight.
In the new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron, an additional steel cylinder filled with four kilograms (8.8 lb) of CNG extends the range during gas operation. Reducing the size of the gasoline tank not only frees up the necessary space for this additional gas tank, it also makes the new Audi A3 Sportback g-tron a quasi-monovalent vehicle. Using the specific benefits and dimensions of each of the two tank technologies to its advantage, the intelligent combination of GFRP tanks and the gas tank makes optimum use of the existing installation space. The petrol tank, which now holds nine litres (2.4 US gal), provides the conventional mobility reserve.
The two plastic tanks storing the gas with an operating pressure of up to 200 bar follow the Audi lightweight design philosophy. Thanks to their layout, they weigh 66 percent less than comparable steel cylinders. Their inner layer is a gas-tight polyamide bladder.