Audi is fashionably late to the plug-in hybrid sporty game as it’s the last PHEV of the Volkswagen Group’s quartet to get the electrified treatment in a more performance-oriented method. Following in the footsteps of the Skoda Octavia RS iV, VW Golf GTE, and the Cupra Leon, the new A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e combines a turbocharged 1.4-liter gasoline with an electric motor and a 13-kWh battery pack.
To the surprise of no one, the beefier PHEV version of Audi’s posh compact hatchback offers the same combined output as its VAG siblings – 242 hp (180 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm). The electrified punch is good for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) run in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 144 mph (232 km/h). It can cover as much as 39 miles (63 kilometers) on electric power, based on the WLTP cycle. In zero-emissions mode, you won’t go faster than 87 mph (140 km/h).
Gallery: 2021 Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e
Power is channeled exclusively through the front wheels from the electric motor built into the housing of the six-speed automatic transmission. The battery pack can be fully charged from zero in approximately five hours using a household socket. According to the Four Rings, the 13-kWh battery can be recharged at a maximum power of 2.9 kW.
To spruce up the “45 TFSI e” version, Audi paints the corporate Singleframe grille in glossy black and gives the daytime running lights of the matrix LED headlights an “E” theme to emphasize the car’s electrified nature. The plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback rides on 17-inch wheels, behind which are larger brakes than those of the 40 TFSI e to cope with the extra oomph.
Already available in Germany, the new Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e is priced from €40,395 and comes equipped as standard with two-zone climate control, tinted windows, red brake calipers, sport seats, convenience key, and the Audi drive select.
The new arrival complements the lesser 40 TFSI e version, which has to make do with only 201 hp and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm). The lower-spec A3 Sportback plug-in hybrid does the sprint in 7.6 seconds and will only do 141 mph (227 km/h), dropping to 87 mph (140 km/h) in EV mode. WLTP range stands at 41.6 miles (67 km). Audi points out the additional muscle of the 45 TFSI e model is obtained by using a different software.