This new generation of Audi A3 has been impressing journalists and enthusiasts alike. While it’s not the sportiest premium hatchback, nor the most fun to drive, it’s a surprisingly well-rounded machine that’s enjoyable to own and live with. Sweetening the deal even further is the arrival of a new hybrid model — the Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e.
Under the hood of this new hybrid A3 is a 1.4 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. On its own, the engine develops 148 horsepower (110 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. However, an electric motor provides an additional 107 horsepower (80 kW) and 243 lb-ft (330 Nm) of torque.
So despite having a tiny, efficiency-minded engine, the Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e has a combined system power output of 241 horsepower (180 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. That gives it almost Audi S3 levels of power, despite being far more efficient, returning a US MPG of 156.8–168.0 (1.5 to 1.4 liters per 100 kilometers).
All of that power is sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to only the front wheels. Though, the Audi A3 Sportback TFSI e isn’t as quick as the S3. According to Audi, 0-62 mph takes 6.8 seconds. That’s relatively slow, considering its power output, but you can blame its additional weight from the 13 kWh battery pack and electric motor.
The hybrid A3 has all of the same hybrid driving modes as every other hybrid Audi. So there’s a Battery Hold mode, which uses the engine and electric motor to hold the battery charge at a specific level, to save it for a specific time. There’s Battery Charge mode, which uses the engine to increase the amount of battery charge until it’s full. Auto Hybrid is pretty self-explanatory, using both the engine and electric motor as the car sees fit. Lastly, there’s an EV mode that prioritizes using electric power only, as long as possible.
In terms of visuals, the Audi A3 Sportback TFSI e is one of the sportier looking A3 models and is a handsome hatchback. It looks sharp, athletic and premium, without much hint to its hybrid nature. So owners will be able to reap the benefits of a hybrid powertrain without being shouty about it.