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Audi A3 goes green with Sportback 40 TFSIe

Audi debuts new PHEV A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe and tells of more to come

30 Sep 2020

AUDI has officially debuted the first hybrid variant of its revamped A3 line-up with the A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe, however it is not clear yet whether the compact PHEV will make it to Australian shores.


This is only the second time Audi has offered a properly electrified drivetrain on its C-segment contender, the first coming in the form of the A3 Sportback e-tron which lobbed here back in 2015.


Comprising of a 110kW/250Nm turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an 80kW/330Nm electric motor, the A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe’s powertrain generates a combined 150kW/350Nm and is good for a 7.6-second dash from 0-100km/h.


The top speed meanwhile is pegged at 227km/h; however the name of the game here is fuel economy, with the frugal little A3 PHEV sipping between 1.4 and 1.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on the NEDC cycle.


Transmission duties are taken care of by a six-speed automatic transmission which sends all of the power and torque exclusively to the front wheels while CO2 emissions are pegged at between 30 and 34 grams per kilometre.


Thanks to its 13kWh battery, Audi claims the A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe is capable of covering up to 78km (NEDC cycle, 67km on WLTP) purely on electric power, and can reach 140km/h.


To make the most of the powertrain’s capabilities, two separate sub-modes are contained within the hybrid drive mode; one to stabilise and maintain battery charge and one to restore as much energy as possible.


One particular example of this energy recovery is the regenerative braking system which provides 0.3g of braking force, enough according to Audi to cover “the vast majority of all brake applications in everyday customer driving”.


When the time comes to recharge the battery, Audi claims a full charge from empty can be completed in around four hours when hooked up to a 230-volt socket, with a maximum charging power of 2.9kW.


Under the skin, the whole package rides on independent suspension all round and rolls on unique 16-inch alloy wheels.


Visually, the A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe resembles the rest of the A3 line-up, measuring in at 4.34m long with 280 litres of boot space on offer, a figure which expands to 1100L with the rear seats folded flat.


The interior itself is also classic A3 in its layout but boasts a few exclusive touches including seat upholstery made of recycled plastic bottles as well as hybrid-specific functions and displays within the instrument cluster – or optional Audi virtual cockpit – and 10.1-inch infotainment system.


While it isn’t clear yet if the compact PHEV will make it Down Under, standard global equipment includes smartphone mirroring, integrated WiFi hotspot, Audi connect online services, LED headlights, leather multifunction steering wheel and two-zone automatic air conditioning.


Standard safety kit meanwhile encompasses Audi pre-sense front, lane departure warning, turn assist and swerve assist.


According to Audi, the Sportback 40 TFSIe is the first of two PHEV variants planned for the A3 with the second set to be a more powerful sports-oriented model brandishing not only more firepower, but more visual menace as well.


GoAuto has contacted Audi Australia as to whether or not it is interested in offering the A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe locally and if so, when we can expect it.


The local subsidiary has sold 1702 A3s so far this year ending August, accounting for 17.9 per cent of the $40,000-plus small car segment.

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