Thanks to its increased tank volume, The Audi A3 Sportback g-tron can cover now around 400 kilometers (248.5 miles) (WLTP cycle) in natural gas operation. Presales at dealerships in Germany kicked off on March 7 and the basic price will be EUR 30,600. The compact model forms part of an integrated and sustainable mobility concept from the brand.
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 gasoline, combustion of natural gas emits 25% 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 fiber-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 natural 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 natural 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 natural gas tank makes optimum use of the existing installation space. The gasoline tank, which now holds nine liters (2.4 US gal), provides the conventional mobility reserve.
The two plastic tanks storing the natural gas with an operating pressure of up to 200 bar follow the Audi lightweight design philosophy. Thanks to their layout, they weigh 66% less than comparable steel cylinders.