Audi has given its A3 Sportback g-tron a technology update. Thanks to its increased tank volume, the compact model can now cover around 400km (WLTP cycle) in gas operation.
Equipped with a new 1.5-liter TFSI engine producing 133ps, the g-tron features a modified cylinder head, turbocharging, fuel injection system and catalytic converter. Compared to gasoline, combustion of natural gas emits 25% less CO₂.
As with its predecessor, the g-tron has two tanks made of glass fiber-reinforced polymer beneath the luggage compartment floor, each of which hold 7kg of gas. Now an additional 4kg-capacity steel cylinder has been added, extending the range during gas operation.
Thanks to the Audi A3’s layout, the two plastic tanks storing the gas with an operating pressure of up to 200 bar weigh 66% less than comparable steel cylinders. The cylinder’s inner layer is a gas-tight polyamide bladder.
The load-bearing fiber-reinforced laminate consists of an inner layer of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and a layer of glass fiber-reinforced polymer (GFRP) on top. This combination ensures high strength. Use of GFRP improves stability and acts as visual indicator of damage. Following an application of force from the outside the color of the layer changes to a milky-white.