Audi launch new TFSIe plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback

A little ‘e’ goes a long way in the latest Audi A3 Sportback – it means that this new TFSI e version of the high-tech compact hatchback can travel effortlessly, economically and environmentally soundly under purely electric power for up to 41 miles.

The new Audi A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e plug-in hybrid will be available to order in the UK later this week in Sport or S line specification with prices starting from £33,060 OTR, and will reach its first customers here towards the end of the year.

“Compact hatchbacks are of course particularly well suited to urban environments, as are electric vehicles, so combining the two formats in a state-of-the-art package displaying all the essential Audi hallmarks naturally creates an attractive proposition for daily commuting and city driving,“ says Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle. “The beauty of the new A3 Sportback TFSI e is that it can also reach the city limits well before it reaches its own – it can travel far further afield impressively efficiently and then be refuelled and recharged quickly and conveniently. It’s a consummate all-rounder.“

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. Now, the compact models are following suit. The A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e brings the concept first employed in its successful 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.

TFSI engine plus electric motor: drive, power transmission, and battery

A 1.4 TFSI serves as the combustion engine for the compact plug-in hybrid model. The four-cylinder petrol engine offers peak power of 150PS and makes more than 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft) of torque available in the range between 1,550 and 3,500 rpm. It works with a permanently excited synchronous electric motor which is lighter and more compact than its predecessor and has a greater power density. It produces 80 kW and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) 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 join forces to deliver maximum boost, system torque reaches 350 Nm (258.1 lb-ft). 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 proves capable of returning 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.

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