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New Audi A3 Sportback adds 201bhp plug-in hybrid version

In a nutshell: Audi A3 Sportback plug-in hybrid

  • Audi has once again added a plug-in hybrid version of its A3 to the line-up.
  • Follows in the footsteps of the previously discontinued ‘e-tron’ A3.
  • New hatchback is relatively ‘hot’ with 204 PS(201bhp) and 0-62mph time of 62mph in 7.6 seconds.
  • Has a range of 41 miles in electric only mode.
  • Available to order now with prices starting from £33,060.

One of the UK’s best all-rounders has just got that bit more sophisticated - because Audi has revealed a new plug-in hybrid version of its brilliant A3.

The premium hatchback received a subtle facelift earlier this year, with changes to the exterior giving it concave flanks, more flared arches and all in all a more ‘athletic stance’.

At the time of the revision you could order the A3 with a choice of two petrol or two diesel engines.

Now, though, Audi has followed through on its promise to deliver a plug-in hybrid variant - the so-called ‘40 TFSI e’ sportback.

And with a winning mix of performance and frugality - up to a claimed 282.5 miles to the gallon - it’s sure to win a place on countless driveways up and down the UK.

Of course, it’s not the first time the A3 has been seen in plug-in hybrid form.

In previous years we had the Audi A3 ‘e-tron’ - a car quietly dropped from the range in 2018 as the tougher new ‘Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test’, or WLTP, came in to assess claimed mpg figures.

So with the new A3, you can be safe in the knowledge the fuel economy figures are up to scratch.

The new A3 plug-in can be had in base ‘Sport’ or ‘S line’ specification, with prices starting from £33,060 on the road. The first cars are due to be delivered later this year.

It’s powered by a traditional 1.4 TFSI petrol engine, with 150 PS and which makes more than 250 Nm of torque.

That’s then married to an 80 kW electric motor which, courtesy of a six-speed S tronic transmission, which generates a combined 204 PS and 350 Nm of torque.

To put that into context, that’s more power than any of the other engines in the Audi A3 range - and on a par with the new Ford Puma ST.

In terms of acceleration, 0-62mph is done away with in 7.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 141mph.

And in the WLTP test cycle, the A3 proves capable of returning up to 282.5 mpg with CO2 output of no more than 31g/km.

Fully electric travel is possible at speeds of up to 87mph.

And there’s also something rather nifty called ‘S gear’.

First you put the car into its ‘Dynamic mode’ driving setting, and then you set it to ‘S gear’.

Audi explains: “The hybrid drive exerts its maximum force on kickdown, releasing the full boost torque for up to ten seconds. As soon as pressure on the accelerator pedal eases, the electric motor automatically switches to recuperation. The resulting deceleration creates a true one-pedal feeling.”

In terms of charging, you can fill the battery from a conventional socket in just four hours, and you can track the progress through a dedicated app.

And, as with the other Audi A3s, you’re getting a car loaded with tech, including a 10.1-inch MMI Touch screen and 10.25-inch fully digital Audi virtual cockpit.

What’s more, there’s also a mild-hybrid version of the A3 on its way, too.

Andrew Doyle, Director of Audi UK, says: “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.

“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.“

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Kate Butler

Tuesday, 02/08/2022