What is this?
Ingolstadt remains faithful to natural gas with the renewed Audi A3 G-Tron. The existing CNG technology is combined with the modified 1.5 TFSI engine, which delivers 131 hp and 200 Nm. The factory installation allows perfect integration of the three tanks, keeping the gas pressure at the rear at 200 bar.
In front of the (small) petrol tank is a 4 kg steel reservoir and under the luggage compartment floor are two further reservoirs made of composite material with a capacity of 7 kg each. This gives a total capacity of 18 kg of safely stored gas. There is also a 9 liter fuel reserve for those rare times when the engine needs petrol. There is no spare wheel because of the gas bottles, but the trunk of the Audi A3 G-Tron has a good capacity of 280 liters under the parcel shelf.
What is changing?
The handling of the Audi A3 Sportback 30 G-Tron is very similar to that of the petrol A3 35 TFSI, except that the engine runs slightly softer when running on gas almost 99 percent of the time. The robotized S Tronic with double clutch and seven gears is completely unaffected by the doses of methane. The start-stop system is a different story, because sometimes it forgot to restart the engine. Annoying if you have to turn on a roundabout or cross an intersection in heavy traffic. A thick tube on an otherwise excellent report.
The switch from natural gas to petrol takes place automatically, without you noticing it. Additional menus on the digital instruments show how much CNG and how much petrol you still have on board, so that you are always perfectly aware of the driving range of the Audi A3 G-Tron. The fuel consumption during this test was between 3.8 kg/100 km and 5.3 kg/100 km on the day. The fuel consumption averaged 6.1 liters per 100 kilometres. That translates into a total range of more than 450 kilometers, of which about 100 are on petrol. In addition, you emit less CO2 and you are greener, if you have the option of refueling bio-CNG.
Natural gas as fuel has disappeared a bit under the radar, to the detriment of hybrid and electric motorisations. And that’s a shame, as this Audi A3 G-Tron proves. The drive unit, which favors both CNG and petrol, is evidence of a great deal of know-how. The engine runs smoothly, consumes little and performs well, only the stop-start system really needs to be improved.