The Audi A3 e-tron concept is a four-seat notchback sedan. It measures 4.44 metres (14.57 ft) long and 1.84 metres (6.04 ft) wide, but just 1.39 metres (4.56 ft) high – proportions that underscore its dynamic character.
The design represents the typical Audi language of sporty elegance. The single-frame grille is integrated into the front end, giving it a sculptured look. Its frame is made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), and the transversely mounted, three-dimensional aluminum louvers create a visual effect that emphasises the showcar’s width. The headlights merge with the beveled upper corners of the single-frame, forming a transition that marks the starting point of the prominently accentuated lines of the engine hood.
The headlights represent a new stage of evolution in LED technology, a groundbreaking innovation from Audi. They become broader as they extend outward, and a line underneath makes them seem to float on air. Above the front spoiler is a full-length air intake, also made of CFRP, framed by a metal clasp. The spoiler features a splitter that increases the downforce on the front wheels.
When viewed from the side, too, the A3 e-tron concept is recognizable at first sight as an Audi – with its harmonious proportions, taut, muscular surfaces and a low roof dome with fluid lines flowing into a flat, coupe-like C-pillar. The shoulder area transitions elegantly into the tailgate. Characteristic of Audi design, the greenhouse accounts for one-third of the height, while the sheet metal makes up the remaining two-thirds.
Powerfully flared fenders hint at the power of the engine. Two prominently elaborated lines accentuate the flank: the undercut tornado line beneath the window edge and the dynamic line above the sills. The exterior mirrors, made of aluminum and CFRP, are perched atop the window-channel strips. The door handles with their brushed-aluminum clasps are recessed flush with the door. When the driver touches them, they power-extend.
The intelligent interplay between surfaces and lines also defines the tail end of the A3 e-tron concept. The broad, flat tail lights are sculptured and culminate in a point on the inside, and the tailgate bears an elegant spoiler edge. The rear apron includes a diffuser insert of CFRP and metal, which in turn surrounds the two large tailpipes for the exhaust system.