2021 Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrid revealed

New plug-in hybrid Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e revealed.

This is the new Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e – a plug-in hybrid rival for the Mercedes A 250 e and Skoda Octavia vRS iV. It’s available to order in Germany now, with prices starting from AUD$66,000, but plans for an Australian launch remain unclear.

It’s powered by the same plug-in hybrid powertrain found in the latest Volkswagen Golf GTE, which blends a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 80kW electric motor and a 13kWh battery pack, for a combined output of 180kW and 400Nm of torque. It’s a more powerful version of the powertrain in the 40 TFSI e model, which has 150kW and 350Nm. The petrol engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Audi says that the 45 TFSI e can go from 0–100km/h in 6.8 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 230km/h. Fuel economy up to 1.4L/100km is claimed, while producing between 31–34g/km of CO2 – although it’s worth bearing in mind that both of those figures were measured using the outdated NEDC system.

The A3 45 TFSI e’s maximum electric range is quoted under the newer WLTP standard, with a figure of 63km between charges claimed – that’s a few kays fewer than the 40 TFSI e model. When plugged into a conventional household socket, the hatchback’s battery will recover a full charge in around five hours.

The A3 45 TFSI e features a choice of four driving modes, which offer varying degrees of electrical assistance. Auto Hybrid mode finds the best balance between petrol and electric power; EV mode prioritises electric running and Battery Hold retains the battery charge level for use later in the journey. Battery Charge tops-up the batteries using the petrol engine and energy recovery system.

Luke Wilkinson

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