Audi A3 e-tron to arrive in US by October?

The company has been working to validate the powertrain for cold-weather operation.

Audi is reportedly still a few months away from delivering its A3 Sportback e-tron to US showrooms.

Previewed in concept form back in 2013, the plug-in hybrid hatchback pairs a reworked 1.4-liter TFSI engine with a compact 100-horsepower electric motor mounted to the six-speed gearbox. The combination promises to deliver 201 ponies and 258 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels.

The E-tron package, which will be the only A3 hatchback to arrive on US shores, appears to be slated for October, according to an alleged Audi document published by AutoSpies.

The hybrid was initially expected to arrive earlier this year, but rumors suggest the launch was delayed by ongoing tweaks to the powertrain management system. The company has now hinted that it may have been working to refine the gear for use in cold weather.

"Audi is taking a fairly conservative position to ensure the long-term credibility of the E-Tron platform and plug-in technology, while still creating the best experience for our drivers in each region," corporate communications manager Brad Stertz told Autoblog. "Overall, I think it is safe to say low temps affect performance in all vehicles to some degree, but that plug-ins face unique challenges that we will continue to work through with the A3 e-tron and other plug-in models to follow."

The company has not officially confirmed a US launch date for the A3 e-tron.

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