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Filed under: Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Hatchback, Audi, Luxury

Audi is exploring a variety of sustainable transportation technologies beyond the traditional diesel, hybrid, plug-in and electric options, including the compressed natural gas A3 Sportback G-Tron that debuted today at the Geneva Motor Show.

The most interesting thing about this rather innocuous-looking A3 Sportback is that when run on Audi e-gas, the car becomes completely carbon neutral, emitting no more CO2 than was chemically input in this special fuel's production. Audi has already broken ground on a new plant - powered by renewable energy, of course - that uses electrolysis to produce e-gas, which could then be made available through any natural gas distribution network.

A turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine burns the e-gas, or any garden variety CNG, for 110 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, but the real story lies in the machine's natural gas tanks. The two light-weight composite vessels weigh in at just under 60 pounds each and can store a shave over 30 pounds of fuel combined and 2,900 psi. The tanks are made from a four-layer composite comprised of a gas-impermeable polyamide polymer, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, glass fiber reinforced polymer and a high-strength epoxy resin.

The A3 Sportback G-Tron also features a new gas regulator to keep the fuel at the correct pressure for any given engine speed. If the tank pressure falls below 145 psi, the engine automatically and seamlessly switches over to gasoline operation. With its two on-board fuel sources, the five-door offers a bladder-busting range of approximately 807 miles.

Continue reading Audi A3 G-Tron offers big range, few emissions

Audi A3 G-Tron offers big range, few emissions originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Mar 2013 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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