Audi PHEV Hothatch Claiming Zero Emission Commute

Audi’s latest sporty urban extended hatchback claims its PHEV powertrain is good for 41 miles on electric power alone.

The range, enough to cope with most average commutes especially for those with charging at work sites, means the sporty little A3 Sportback 40 TFSI e boasts a fuel consumption on the WLTP test cycle of up to 282.5 mpg with CO2 output of no more than 31g/km. At the same time it claims a 0-62mph sprint time of 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 141mph.

Its powertrain features a four-cylinder 1.4-liter TFSI gasoline engine offering a peak power of 147bhp and more than 184.4ft-bs of torque available in the range between 1,550rpm and 3,500 rpm. It works with a synchronous electric motor which is lighter and more compact than its predecessor and has a greater power density. It produces around 53bhp, bringing combined torque up to 243.4ft-lbs, and as is integrated into the housing of the Its lithium-ion battery is located below the vehicle underbody in the area of the rear seats and has 96 prismatic cells to store 13.0 kWh of energy, around 48% more than the installation in the A3 Sportback e-tron thanks to improved cell chemistry. A separate cooling circuit controls the temperature of the battery. It can also be coupled with the air conditioning system to allow driving on electric power even at higher atmospheric temperatures.

When the PHEV is in hybrid mode, the drive management system selects freewheeling with deactivated TFSI in most situations when decelerating, allowing the car to coast. Two special modes can be selected via the MMI operating system: “Battery hold” and “Battery charge.” In “hold” mode, the available battery charge is held at the current level. In “charge” mode, as much electricity as possible is supplied to the battery.

Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle, said: “Compact hatchbacks are, of course, particularly well suited to urban environments, as are electric vehicles, so combining the two formats in a state-of-the-art package displaying all the essential Audi hallmarks naturally creates an attractive proposition for daily commuting and city driving.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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