Audi has taken the veils off the first ever Q3 and Q3 Sportback plug-in hybrid. The debuting pair takes on the 45 TFSI e nomenclature, with power coming from an electrified 1.4 litre four-cylinder TFSI engine. On its own, the engine produces 150 PS and 250 Nm of torque.
An electric motor that’s integrated into the housing of the six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission (with a declutching mechanism) provides 85 kW of supplementary power, therefore raising the total system output to 245 PS and 400 Nm of torque. That’s good for a century sprint time of 7.3 seconds.
A 13 kWh battery pack (with 96 high density prismatic cells) is located under the vehicle floor, just in front of the rear axle. Boot space has been sacrificed slightly because of this – the Q3 now offers 380 litres (down from 530 litres) and is expandable to 1,375 litres. On a full charge, it provides up to 50 km of pure electric range. The electric motor is also powerful enough to hit a top speed of 140 km/h. As usual, there are several hybrid drive modes to choose from.
Interestingly, in Dynamic mode, drivers can access the electric motor’s full 330 Nm of torque reserves for up to 10 seconds, but this requires the shifter to be set in “S” mode. Activating this is as simple as fully depressing the throttle pedal. The electric motor can also recoup up to 0.3 g (or up to 40 kW of power), which is good enough to handle a vast majority of braking situations.
A full charge via a domestic AC wallbox (using the supplied Type 2 cable) takes three hours and 45 minutes. The SUV should support faster AC and DC charging, but Audi has yet to reveal the figures. Like all other Audi PHEV models, charging can be remotely controlled via the myAudi app.
In Europe, the Q3 and Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e can be had in several trims, namely Technik (Q3 only), S line and Black Edition versions. Vorsprung models, on the other hand, get adaptive suspension, and wears chunky 20-inch wheels. The Technik variant rides on 17-inch wheels, although this can be upgraded to 18- or 19-inch hoops. Extras include privacy glass, various styling packages, roof rails (Q3 only), and full LED lighting (Vorsprung versions get Matrix LED headlights instead).
Inside, the cockpit is almost identical to their respective non-hybrid counterparts. Standard models get a 10.25-inch Audi virtual cockpit, while more expensive models get a larger 12.3-inch digital binnacle. Both feature plug-in hybrid-specific functions, which displays driveline status, output and recuperation phases, battery state of charge, and remaining range. A 10.1-inch infotainment display with Audi connect (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well) is standard.
Safety-wise, all models get Audi pre sense basic, pre sense front, Audi side assist blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning as standard. There’s also adaptive cruise assist with support for acceleration, steering, and braking, all of which are operable within the limits of what is currently legally permissible.
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