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 |  Apr 19 2011, 11:45 AM

They’ve given us a big eTron coupe, a little eTron coupe and a spyder, but now with their fourth version, the folks at Ingolstadt have decided to take a more conventional route.

This fourth eTron concept by Audi, is based on the A3 Sedan concept and sports a gasoline/electric hybrid drivetrain. If you perhaps recognize it, that’s because it’s a development of the concept sedan shown in Geneva back in March and debuted this week in Shanghai.

Under the hood is a 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct injected gasoline four-cylinder engine, along with a 20 kW electric motor. Together the motor and gas engine generate 238 horsepower, while transmitting power to the wheels is a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transaxle.

Of course to generate power, the electric motor requires stored energy, thus under the back seat of this new eTron you’ll find a series of lithium-ion batteries. According to Audi, these batteries are charged by the car’s standard energy recovery system and on electric power alone, maximum range is said to be 34 miles (54 km). Add assistance from the gas engine and this latest eTron is apparently capable of sprinting to 62 mph (100 km/h) from rest in just 6.8 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 144 mph (237 km/h for you metric people).

Out of all the eTron concepts we’ve been teased with over the last few years, this one is by far the most likely to make it into production, at least in the short term. Question is, will it?

GALLERY: Audi A3 eTron Sedan

Audi A3 eTron 03.jpgAudi A3 eTron 04.jpgAudi A3 eTron 09.jpgAudi A3 eTron 06.jpgAudi A3 eTron 01.jpgAudi A3 eTron 07.jpg

 |  Apr 19 2011, 11:31 AM

So far we haven’t been able to get it on these shores, but up until now, perhaps we’ve not been missing a great deal. Mercedes smallest model, the A-Class, has been little more than boxy and utterly sensible personal transportation.

But that’s set to change. Mercedes has just revealed the so-called Concept A, which is being viewed by many as the next step in the brand’s expansion in China. From looking at the Concept A, it’s clear that the next generation of Mercedes small car is likely to be very different, more in keeping with the marque’s sporting DNA and something far more likely to entice a younger generation of buyers.

Better yet, there are rumors that the folks at AMG will be developing an uber performance version, said to crank out as much as 350 horsepower. There’s also evidence to suggest it might be available with all-wheel drive.

No further information is available at present, but should this new A-Class AMG materialize, it could represent one of the most exciting small cars to hit the market in decades. And if, it does, it will also likely be sold on our shores too.

[Source: BBC Top Gear]