Audi sees its A3 plug-in hybrid variant with 41 miles of all-electric range as an attractive proposition for daily commuting and city driving

Audi sees its A3 plug-in hybrid variant with 41 miles of all-electric range as an attractive proposition for daily commuting and city driving

Audi is to add a new plug-in hybrid variant to its A3 model range. Badged the 40 TFSI e, it features a 150hp petrol engine and an 80kW electric motor, producing a combined output of 204hp.

Available as a Sportback five-door hatch, the model has an electric driving range of up to 41 miles on the WLTP cycle, the company says.

The lithium-ion battery is located below the vehicle underbody in the area of the rear seats of the A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e. Its 96 prismatic cells store 13.0 kWh of energy, around 48 percent more than the installation in the A3 Sportback e-tron due to improved cell chemistry. A separate cooling circuit controls the temperature of the battery. It can also be coupled with the air conditioning system, if necessary. This allows customers to drive on electric power even at higher outside temperatures.

Official fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures are 282.5mpg and 31g/km respectively.

A full battery recharge can be completed in four hours with a domestic AC wallbox.

Charging can be controlled using the MyAudi app, allowing drivers to take advantage of off-peak tariffs, and the app can also be used to pre-set the climate control system, and find public charging locations.

Boot capacity is 280 litres - 100 less than in conventionally-engined A3s.

UK orders will open later this week, with the first deliveries expected towards the end of the year. In the UK it will be priced from GBP33,060.

With the A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e, Audi says it is continuing its electrification offensive, which has already brought plug-in hybrid versions of the A6, A7, A8, Q5, and Q7 models to market. The A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e brings the concept first employed in its successful predecessor, the A3 Sportback e-tron, up to date, and it will be followed 'in the near future by a more powerful variant with an even greater emphasis on performance'.