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

New plug-in hybrid Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e arrives with UK launch coming in 2021

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 €40,395 (around £37,000), and Audi has confirmed that it’ll go on sale in the UK during spring 2021, sitting above the slightly less powerful A3 40 TFSI e.

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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 107bhp electric motor and a 13kWh battery pack, for a combined output of 242bhp and 400Nm of torque. It’s a more powerful version of the powertrain in the 40 TFSI e model, which has 201bhp and 350Nm. The petrol engine is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Audi says that the 45 TFSI e can go from 0–62mph in 6.8 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 144mph. Fuel economy up to 201.8mpg 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between 31–34g/km of CO2 – although it’s worth bearing in mind that both of those figures were measured using the outdated NEDC system.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 39 miles between charges claimed - that’s two miles 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.

UK specs are yet to be confirmed, but the EU-market models come as standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, uprated brakes, red calipers, sports seats, rear privacy glass and dual-zone climate control. Buyers also get the same dual-screen infotainment setup as the standard A3, while Matrix LED headlights can be added as an optional extra.

What do you make of the new Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e PHEV? Let us know in the comments section below…

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