2021 Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e debuts – 1.4L PHEV with 245 PS and 400 Nm; up to 74 km electric range

The Audi A3 Sportback range has welcomed another plug-in hybrid variant in the form of the 45 TFSI e, which joins the previous 40 TFSI e that was revealed in October. Based on the fourth generation of the compact hatch, the new variant offers greater performance and slightly more EV range.

With a total system output of 245 PS and 400 Nm of torque, the 45 TFSI e offers 41 PS and 50 Nm more than its sister model thanks to a different control software used. The rest of the PHEV powertrain is largely identical otherwise, with a 1.4 litre four-cylinder TFSI engine providing 150 PS and 250 Nm, while an electric motor sandwiched integrated into the six-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission is rated at 109 PS (80 kW) and 330 Nm.

Also unchanged is the 13-kWh lithium-ion battery with 96 prismatic cells located under the rear seats, which provides up to 74 km of range when running in EV mode – eight km more than the 40 TFSI e – based on the NEDC standard (63 km on the WLTP). The battery supports AC charging of up to 2.9 kW via a Type 2 connection, with Audi claiming a full charge can be achieved in around five hours using a conventional domestic power socket.

Given the extra grunt, the A3 Sportback in 45 TFSI e guise will complete a zero to 100 km/h sprint in just 6.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 232 km/h – 0.8 seconds quicker and five km/h more than the 40 TFSI e. When running in EV mode, which is the default when firing up the car, the top speed is capped at 140 km/h.

As for the efficiency stuff, the 45 TFSI e has a fuel consumption of 1.5 to 1.4 litres per 100 km (66.7 to 71.4 km per litre) following the NEDC, while CO2 emissions is between 34 to 31 grammes of CO2 per km.

Other available powertrain modes include Auto Hybrid, whereby the system decides how best the combustion engine and electric motor operate. Depending on the situation and driver’s preference, the car can coast, recuperate – in overrun mode and while braking – or boost together with both powertrain components. Meanwhile, Battery Hold and Battery Charge allows drivers to maintain the battery’s state of charge at a preset level for later use.

In terms of equipment, you get LED headlights that can be upgraded to Matrix LED units, a black exterior styling package, 17-inch wheels, MMI infotainment system with PHEV-specific displays, Audi drive select, sport seats, tinted windows, two-zone climate control and a convenience key. It should also be noted the brakes used here are larger than on the 40 TFSI e, with 340 mm front and 310 mm discs, coupled with red-painted calipers. Pricing starts from 40,395 euros (RM198,619) in Germany.

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