Audi’s hugely extensive model catalog includes a surprising variety of plug-in hybrids, all of which aim to power conventional urban travel, in addition to awarding their owners with the coveted 0-emissions environmental badge. In the case of the A3 Sportback, two variants are offered, one with 204 hp and the other with 245 hp, which also offer slightly different electric ranges.
We recently tested the 45 TFSIe version, which is the more powerful of the two and theoretically gives a maximum range of 63 kilometers with the combustion engine switched off, a figure that drops to 45 or 50 km in real-world use. These are distances which, in principle, should be sufficient to carry out the majority of daily journeys, provided that the user has previously connected the vehicle to the network.
The drivetrain for both variants of the plug-in hybrid A3 Sportback is identical, consisting of a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 150 horsepower, a further 109 horsepower from an electric motor and a 9.8-liter lithium-ion battery. Useful power (13.2kWh total), all mated to front-wheel drive and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Power difference between 40 TFSIe and ours 45 TFSIe is due only to a different programming of the control electronics.
As long as the hybrid system’s battery has sufficient charge, the vehicle defaults to electric mode and can be driven at a top speed of 140 km/h. Otherwise, or when this speed is exceeded, the hybrid mode is activated, during which the thermal and electric motors start working individually or together, depending on the circumstances. Two other modes are added to these modes, which allow maintaining or increasing the battery charge level, in this case applying to the gasoline engine.
With these vickers, the plug-in A3 presents itself as a car that is very suitable for everyday driving, comfortable and very well made – as always with Audi, but also wonderfully capable and comfortable when it comes to the long haul. travel. In this last situation, when the battery is exhausted, a very tight consumption can be obtained with little refinement, not exceeding 6 liters/100 km.
The 245 horsepower available in hybrid mode enables very satisfying performance, for example, from standstill to 50 km/h in 2.7 seconds and, more importantly, to simulate a typical overtaking maneuver – which should be solved as much as possible. As fast as possible – acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in 4.5 seconds.
The high-voltage battery provides a maximum of 2.9 kW with alternating current, from which it is concluded that four hours should be enough for a full charge. At this point, the A3 Sportback pales somewhat in comparison to its main rival, the Mercedes A-Class 250e, which has a much more powerful integrated charger (7.4kW) and supports up to 22kW, which can make all the difference – and tilt. Purchase decision – in case of plug-in machines.
Reduced carrying capacity
The Audi’s passenger compartment is spacious enough to comfortably fit four people on a possible trip, but it lacks a proportional load capacity. Placing the battery under the boot reduces its capacity from 380 litres, which other A3 Sportbacks have to just 280. If you list what the charging cables take up, which the brand provides in a rather bulky bag, the result is a small amount of space. It’s hard to imagine.
In addition, practicality is lost because the boot floor cannot be placed at two heights like its brothers in the range. Here it is placed in the upper position, and although it can be lifted and removed, there is barely any room below to insert a net or emergency triangles. Fortunately, the ability to fold the rear seats and the electric gate remain.
In short, the Audi model is an ideal alternative for a couple looking for a sophisticated model. premium and from which they can draw all their electrical potential according to their daily routine. We are more confident about urban use, but it could be just as practical in a small town where the user has a single residence with a charging point or parking space equally provided. And when traveling, as the laws dictate, always light luggage…
The most affordable plug-in hybrid version of the A3 Sportback comes in at €42,950, with a 204-horsepower engine and Advanced trim. The 245 CV, now linked to the attractive Black Line Edition, costs €45,700.
Source: El Diario