The new Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e plug-in hybrid has an electric range of 41 miles, economy of 282.5 mpg, CO2 output of 31g/km, and it’s available from £33,060 – with a more performance-focused version due to follow.
The new A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e plug-in hybrid is now available to order in the UK in Sport or S line specification and will reach its first customers towards the end of the year.
With the A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e, Audi is continuing its electrification offensive, which has already brought plug-in hybrid versions of the A6, A7, A8, Q5, and Q7 models to market.
The A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e brings the concept first employed in its predecessor, the A3 Sportback e-tron, right up to date, and it will be followed in the near future by a more powerful variant with an even greater emphasis on performance.
The 1.4 TFSI four-cylinder petrol engine offers peak power of 150PS and more than 250 Nm of torque. It works with an electric motor which is lighter and more compact than its predecessor and has a greater power density. It produces 80 kW and 330 Nm of torque, and as before is integrated into the housing of the six-speed S tronic transmission.
Together, the 1.4 TFSI and the electric motor deliver a system output of 204PS. When they combine to deliver maximum boost, system torque reaches 350 Nm. The compact plug-in hybrid model sprints from rest to 62mph in 7.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 141mph.
In the WLTP test cycle, it can return up to 282.5 mpg with CO2 output of no more than 31g/km. A six-speed S tronic transfers the output from the engine and motor to the front axle. The dual-clutch transmission is equipped with an electric oil pump that maintains oil supply and enables gear changes to continue even when the TFSI is deactivated temporarily.
The lithium-ion battery is located below the vehicle underbody in the area of the rear
seats of the A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e. Its 96 prismatic cells store 13.0 kWh of energy, around 48 percent more than the installation in the A3 Sportback e-tron due to improved cell chemistry. A separate cooling circuit controls the temperature of the battery. It can also be coupled with the air conditioning system, if necessary. This allows customers to drive on electric power even at higher outside temperatures.
Optimal efficiency is always the target for the drive management system, which is supplied with a large volume of data by the navigation and assistance systems and the network of vehicle sensors. The new A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e always starts electrically, down to a temperature of -28 °C, and if required the driver can then ensure that electric drive is always prioritised throughout the journey using the EV button. WLTP test data confirms that up to 41 miles can be covered using the electric motor alone, meaning that the majority of everyday journeys can be completed with zero local emissions. Fully electric travel is possible at speeds of up to 87mph.
When the A3 PHEV is in hybrid mode, the two power sources divide the work intelligently. In the interest of efficiency, the drive management system selects freewheeling with deactivated TFSI in most situations when decelerating, allowing the car to coast. Two special modes can be selected via the MMI operating system: “Battery hold” and “Battery charge.” In “hold” mode, the available battery charge is held at the current level. In “charge” mode, as much electricity as possible is supplied to the battery.
Audi drive select offers Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual profiles. If the S tronic is set to S gear in the Dynamic mode, the hybrid drive exerts its maximum force on kickdown, releasing the full boost torque for up to ten seconds.
The new A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e can be plugged into a domestic AC wallbox using the Type 2 cable supplied. A full recharge of a completely empty battery takes just over four hours, and the driver can decide when this takes place by using the myAudi app to define activation and deactivation times, meaning that cheaper off-peak electricity supply periods can be factored in. The app can also be used to remotely activate and modulate the climate control via a smartphone or tablet so that the driver can return to a car that is not only fully charged but also perfectly temperate inside. When outside temperatures are low, electric heating elements warm up the interior, while the electrically powered air conditioning cools the interior down when outside temperatures are high.
Charging is also possible at public charging points, and the myAudi app can also help here by pinpointing their location across the country and also facilitating their usage by highlighting those that are available to subscribers to the e-tron charging service. The service enables owners of Audi e-tron and TFSI e models to activate and pay for charging at numerous public charging points operated by a total of 18 suppliers across the UK using one RFID payment card that pools all costs incurred into one simple monthly invoice.