Audi Q3 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrid revealed, not confirmed for Australia

With the new 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrid variants of the Q3 and Q3 Sportback, Audi now has plug-in hybrid versions of eight different model lines... and none of them have been confirmed for Australia.

4 months ago
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William Stopford
Journalist

Audi’s slate of plug-in hybrid models has expanded to include a PHEV version of its recently redesigned Q3.

The Q3 and Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e join the A3 40 TFSI e at the more affordable end of Audi’s PHEV range.

We’ve contacted Audi Australia to confirm if these will be arriving here.

Though plug-in hybrids have rapidly proliferated this year throughout the Audi range, so far none have been confirmed for Australia – and we shouldn’t expect this to change anytime soon, as the brand focuses on its all-electric E-Tron, which will also be joined by the E-Tron GT.

“Clearly on the roadmap for electrification over the next 5-10 years, models like this will take up a proportion of that electrification but at this stage it’ll be something that we’ll be rolling out in future years,” said Audi Australia PR director Shaun Cleary earlier this year.

On sale next autumn in Europe, the Q3 45 TFSI e models use a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 13.0kWh lithium-ion battery and an 85kW electric motor.

The same powertrain is used in the Volkswagen Golf GTE plug-in hot hatch.

Total system outputs are 180kW of power and 400Nm of torque, while the 45 TFSI e has an electric-only range of 50km on the stricter WLTP standard.

Both Q3 PHEVs can also do the 0-100km/h dash in 7.3 seconds.

The electric motor is integrated with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, with power sent to the front wheels.

Audi says it’ll take three hours and 45 minutes to charge a Q3 using a domestic AC wallbox.

The Q3 will always start in pure-electric mode unless it’s extremely cold and can run solely on electric power at speeds up to 140km/h.

As is the case for many plug-in hybrids, there are both Battery Hold and Battery Charge modes to either keep the current level of charge or to increase it. The former is useful when you want to save your pure-electric range for when you reach a city with low-emissions zones.

The Dynamic setting also allows you to make use of the full 330Nm torque reserve of the electric motor for up to 10 seconds.

Luggage space is quoted as 380L, expanding to 1375L in the wagon and 1250L in the Sportback.

Audi quotes figures of 530L for regular Q3 and Q3 Sportback models, expanding to 1525L and 1400L, respectively.

The introduction of a plug-in hybrid Q3 now leaves the Audi range with a rapidly narrowing range of models that lack a PHEV option.

Audi has recently introduced plug-in versions of the A3, A6, A7 and A8 and Q5, Q7 and Q8 in Europe.

That leaves just the A1, A4, A5, Q2, TT and R8 without a similarly electrified option.

Though it has previously offered plug-in hybrid versions of its previous-generation A3 and Q7 here, Audi doesn’t offer currently any PHEVs in Australia.

That’s in contrast to German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

BMW offers PHEV versions of its 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series and X5 lines in Australia, with a plug-in X3 xDrive30e in the pipeline. Mercedes-Benz offers PHEV versions of its C-Class, E-Class and GLC.


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