High efficiency and outstanding driving pleasure: The Audi Q3 as a plug-in hybrid

Volkswagen AG
3 min read
Audi Q3 45 TFSI e
Audi Q3 45 TFSI e © Audi AG
Dec. 17. 2020
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Wolfsburg - Audi continues its electrification campaign: Presales of the Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e will start in the second week of January

The plug-in hybrid drive installed in both models delivers a system output of 180 kW (245 PS), and both compact SUVs can cover a distance of up to 61 km (37.9 mi) in the NEDC powered purely by electricity. In the WLTP, the distance is 51 km (31.7 mi) for the Q3 45 TFSI e and 50 km (31.07 mi) for the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e. The Q3 45 TFSI e costs EUR 46,000 (including 19 percent VAT), the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e EUR 1,400 more. Customers can claim a subsidy of EUR 6,750 in both cases.

The combination of an electric driving experience, simple charging, and high level of suitability for everyday use makes Audi’s plug-in hybrid models especially appealing. The Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e complete the range of plug-in hybrids that Audi has brought onto the market since the middle of 2019. At the same time, these two compact SUVs mark the first step into the world of electrified Q models.

The two Q3 models both include a 1.4 TFSI as the combustion engine. This four-cylinder delivers 110 kW (150 PS). The drive is completed by a permanently excited synchronous machine (PSM), which provides 85 KW of power. The PSM is integrated in the housing of the six-speed S tronic together with the separating clutch. This dual-clutch transmission, which transfers the power to the front wheels, integrates an electric oil pump. This ensures the supply and thus the function of the clutches and with that the gear selection even when the TFSI engine is switched off.

Great driving pleasure and high efficiency – the powertrain of these two new models offers both. The 1.4 TFSI and the electric motor together generate 180 kW of system output (245 PS) and system torque of 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft). Both the Q3 45 TFSI e and the Sportback take 7.3 seconds to burst from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph), and both reach a top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph). In the New European Driving Cycle, the consumption of the Q3 45 TFSI e is 1.7 to 1.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (138.4 to 168.0 US mpg) (39 to 32 grams of CO2 (62.8 to 51.5 g/mi)). The Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e records the same values of 1.7 to 1.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (138.4 to 168.0 US mpg) (38 to 33 grams of CO2 (61.2 to 53.1 g/mi)). The total range achieved by both models is approximately 710 km (441.2 mi) – testifying to their great suitability for everyday use.

The high-voltage battery is located under the vehicle floor in front of the rear axle. Its 96 prismatic cells store 13.0 kWh of energy. It owes this high value to the compact and relatively lightweight battery of a new cell generation. The battery system has its own cooling circuit, which can be coupled to the air conditioning system’s circuit to ensure effective cooling even when requirements are at their highest.

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 many situations, for example when passing. When accelerating from low rotational speeds, for example, it applies the high torque that it generates due to its operating principle to bridge the few tenths of a second that the turbocharger needs to build up pressure – its deployment is imperceptible, but efficient. Drivers can prioritize electric drive with the EV button. The drive management system constantly evaluates numerous data points, including the route information from the navigation system and the data about the near surroundings from the vehicle sensors. This allows it to identify when the car is approaching a town sign, a speed limit or a roundabout, or getting too close to the vehicle ahead. When the foot is taken off the accelerator, the Audi Q3 45 TFSI e and the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e start to coast with the TFSI switched off in most situations.

Both the new Q3 models impress with a powerful and sporty stance on the road. The interior is generous and variable. The front seats offer excellent comfort and a sporty seating position. The rear seats can be moved lengthwise as standard; their backrests are divided into three sections and recline at seven different angles. The luggage compartment has a basic volume of 380 l (13.4 cu ft), which increases to 1,375 l (48.6 cu ft) in the Q3 45 TFSI e and 1,250 l (44.1 cu ft) in the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e when the seats are folded down. As an option, Audi will deliver an electric tailgate that can also be opened with a foot motion.

Two displays form the basis of the operating and display concept. The MMI touch with a 10.1 inch screen takes up a central position in the instrument panel and displays the energy flows of the hybrid drive and more. The driver can look either at a digital instrument cluster or at the Audi virtual cockpit, which is available in two sizes. A powermeter displays the system’s output, the status of the drive, the recuperation, the battery’s state of charge, and the range. Many functions can be operated through a natural-language voice control as a further input level, which also offers the option of accessing the knowledge of the cloud.