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New Audi A3 Sportback gains 201bhp plug-in hybrid

The first plug-in hybrid version of the recently launched new Audi A3 Sportback will go on sale later this year, offering 48 miles of electric-only running.

A dramatically overhauled new A3 went on sale earlier this year with a range of mild-hybrid, petrol and diesel engines. The line-up will be joined later this year by the A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe plug-in hybrid, with a higher-performance version due to follow soon after.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain in the 40 TFSIe features a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 147bhp and 184lb ft of torque. That is mated to an electric motor housed within the six-speed gearbox that produces 107bhp and 258lb ft. When combined, the units have a maximum system output of 201bhp and 258lb ft.

The system can propel the A3 Sportback from 0-62mph in 7.6sec, with a top speed of 141mph. The NEDC-rated fuel economy is 188-202mpg and CO2 emissions are 34-34g/km. The power for the electric motor is stored in a 13.0kWh battery located underneath the rear seats.

Home charging is via a 230V power cable at up to 2.9kW, which takes around four hours to complete a full charge, and it can be charged via a Mode 3 cable at public charging points.

The car can reach 87mph on electric power alone, and features EV and hybrid modes, along with Battery Hold and Battery Charge settings that maintain the current charge level or recapture as much energy as possible respectively. That system works with Audi’s drive select system, which features comfort, auto, dynamic and individual modes.

The infotainment also features a number of hybrid-specific functions, including a ‘powermeter’ in the digital instrument cluster and an energy flow option on the central 10.1in media display.

The A3 Sportback 40 TFSIe sits on specially designed 16in alloy wheels as standard, with 17in and 18in versions available as options.

It will go on sale across several European markets later this year, although an exact UK on-sale date has yet to be confirmed. UK pricing is also unconfirmed, although in Germany pricing will start from €37,470 (£34,200). That compares with the base price of £22,410 for the entry-level A3 Sportback.

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