Audi Q3 looks to the future
Another convert to the zero local emissions movement is confirmed today as the new Q3 45 TFSI e stakes its claim as the first ever plug-in hybrid Audi model in the compact SUV class. The eighth member of the flourishing electrified TFSI e family will be available to order in the UK next spring in Q3 and coupé-inspired Q3 Sportback forms, the former featuring Technik, S line, Black Edition and particularly sumptuous Vorsprung specification options and the latter starting at S line level. In both a 1.4-litre TFSI petrol engine and an 85 kW electric motor generate a system output of 245PS to enable travel without tailpipe emisions for up to 31 miles between charges.
The four-cylinder 1.4 TFSI petrol engine powering both new Q3 models contributes a healthy 150PS output, and this is supplemented by the 85 kW of power delivered by the permanently excited synchronous motor (PSM). Together, they generate 180 kW of system power (245 PS) and system torque of 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft), on the strength of which both variants can reach 62mph from a standing start in 7.3 seconds and top out at 130mph.
The PSM is integrated into the housing of the six-speed S tronic transmission together with the separating clutch. This dual-clutch transmission transfers the power to the front wheels, and integrates an electric oil pump which maintains supply even when the TFSI engine is switched off to enable normal functioning and gear selection to continue.
The high-voltage battery is located under the vehicle floor in front of the rear axle and belongs to a new generation of compact and relatively lightweight units with enhanced storage capacity. Its 96 prismatic cells store 13.0 kWh of energy and maintain optimal performance with help from their own cooling circuit, which can also be coupled to the circuit used by the air conditioning system to ensure effective cooling even when requirements are at their highest.
Optimal efficiency at every stage of a journey and in every scenario is naturally the overriding aim of the drive management system, so both new SUVs are always started in electric mode, except in extremely cold conditions. At low speeds, their AVAS (Acoustic Vehicle Alert System) emits an e-sound to warn other road users of their presence. Both versions can cover up to 31 miles at speeds of up to 87mph in electric-only mode with zero local emissions according to the WLTP test.
In “Auto-Hybrid” mode, the main operating mode, the drive management system divides the tasks between the 1.4 TFSI and the electric motor intelligently and efficiently. The electric motor supports the four-cylinder engine in a wide range of situations, such as when overtaking or when accelerating from low speeds, when it uses its strong and rapidly produced torque to imperceptibly bridge the few tenths of a second needed by the turbocharger to build up pressure.
The Audi Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e can be charged using alternating current via a domestic AC wallbox using the Type 2 cable supplied. The process can be completed in 3h 45 minutes, and can be remotely controlled using the free myAudi app, which enables the driver to define activation and deactivation times and also to remotely activate the climate control via a smartphone or tablet to pre-heat or cool the cabin before a journey begins. A mode 3 cable is also supplied for charging at public AC charging terminals, a process which can be expedited through the use of the e-tron Charging Service, which gives TFSI e drivers the opportunity to recharge at more than 155,000 charging points across Europe with just a tap of a single RFID card that generates one convenient monthly invoice.