Audi A3 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrid launching in 2021

Audi A3 gets a second PHEV powertrain, with a Golf GTI-matching 242bhp

  • 39-mile electric range
  • Launches in UK next year
  • Four driving modes

The Audi A3 45 TFSI e has been revealed. It’s the second and most powerful plug-in hybrid A3, promising hot-hatch acceleration and an impressive electric range. Already on sale in some European countries, the 45 TFSI e will be made available to UK buyers in spring 2021.

The VW Group likes to use its powertrains in many different cars for cost-efficiency, and the A3 is only the latest model to get this 1.4-litre petrol engine, electric motor and lithium-ion battery combination. We’ve recently sampled it in the Volkswagen Golf GTE, Cupra Formentor and Skoda Octavia vRS iV, and it’ll also make appearances in the Audi Q3 45 TFSI e and the SEAT Tarraco e-Hybrid.

Power stands at 242bhp, so it’s a little punchier than the A3’s existing plug-in hybrid engine, badged 40 TFSI e. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes just 6.8 seconds, so the 45 TFSI e slots into the gap between the normal petrol engines and the fast Audi S3 and RS3 hot hatches. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox option.

When the 13kWh battery is fully charged, Audi says you can drive for up to 39 miles on electric power alone. There’s a dedicated EV mode, alongside Auto Hybrid, Battery Hold and Battery Charge modes, so you can decide how the car switches between the petrol engine and electric motor.

You’ll only hit its quoted 200mpg estimate if you drive predominantly on battery power but a low CO2 output will provide an incentive to business drivers - although the cheaper 40 TFSI e will be even more appealing in that regard.

In Germany, the 45 TFSI e starts from the equivalent of £37,000, and it features sports seats, two-zone climate control, the Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster and upgraded brakes with red calipers. UK prices and specs will be revealed closer to the car’s release.

See where the Audi A3 lands on our list of the best small luxury cars.

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