150 kW (204 hp) of system power and 350 Nm (258.1 lb-ft) of system torque – these dynamics testify to the Audi genes of the A3 Sportback e-tron. The sprint to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes just 7.6 seconds, and the top speed is 222 km/h (137.9 mph). According to ECE Standard R 101 for plug-in hybrid vehicles, the five-door car emits on average just 35 grams CO2 per kilometer (56.3 g/mi), which corresponds to a fuel consumption of 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers (156.8 US mpg). In electric mode this value is zero grams, and that with an action radius of up to 50 kilometers (31.1 mi).
The drivetrain of the A3 Sportback e-tron comprises three units: a 1.4 TFSI engine, an electric motor and a newly developed six-speed, dual-clutch transmission. The 1.4 TFSI is one of Audi's most advanced engines. Viewed in the driving direction, it is shifted roughly six centimeters (2.4 in) to the right in the engine compartment compared with an A3 with a classic drivetrain to make room for the additional components. Its crankcase is made of lightweight aluminum, and the entire engine weighs just 100 kilograms (220.5 lb).
The four-cylinder unit is state-of-the-art in every regard: from the turbocharger with an electric bypass valve to the rigid valve module, and from the compact intercooler to the thermal management system, which uses a high-performance coolant pump module. Its heart is the exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head. It quickly warms up the engine following a cold start, and at high load the water jacket reduces the temperature of the exhaust gas. The coolant loop for the TFSI also incorporates the oil cooler for the S tronic.
The hybrid concept of the A3 Sportback e-tron often does not activate the combustion engine until kickdown, even when cold. The A3 Sportback e-tron therefore includes special protective features, such as coated piston rings and bearings.
The 1.4 TFSI produces 110 kW (150 hp), and its peak torque of 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft) is available continuously between 1,600 and 3,500 rpm to harmonize perfectly with the electric motor. The latter produces a maximum of 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft), which is available virtually immediately and remains constant up to about 2,200 rpm. Maximum output is 75 kW.
The electric motor is a permanently excited synchronous machine. It weighs 34 kilograms (75.0 lb) and is liquid-cooled via a cooling jacket in the stator. The electric motor is located behind the engine's dual-mass flywheel and includes a decoupler. When the combustion engine starts, it is tow-started by the electric motor via the clutch. Once its reaches the same speed as the electric motor, the clutch closes. This happens smoothly within a few tenths of a second.
The electric motor/decoupler unit is integrated into a newly designed six-speed S tronic, which transfers the power to the front wheels of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. The dual-clutch transmission features a three-shaft layout. Its two subsidiary transmissions are served by the multi-plate clutches K1 and K2, which are immediately downstream of the decoupler K0. Gears are shifted by switching the clutches. This takes just a few hundredths of a second and occurs with no detectable interruption of propulsive power
Additional components to the electric motor, battery, power electronics and charger are provided to support electric driving. The air conditioning compressor uses an electric drive integrated into the high-voltage electrical system. A thermoelectric heating element and an optional gasoline-powered auxiliary heater round out the cabin heating system.
An electric brake servo supports braking in the A3 Sportback e-tron. The generator enables the recuperation of braking energy in all situations. The brake management system supports this by precisely coordinating hydraulic and electric braking. The driver has a sporty and precise brake feel at all times.
Quiet dynamics: 0–60 km/h (37.3 mph) in 4.9 seconds
The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron offers a number of operating modes besides braking recuperation. The car is almost always started electrically, except at very low temperatures, in extremely hot conditions or when battery charge is very low. With the electric motor’s brawny torque, the compact car accelerates strongly. It goes from 0 to 60 km/h (37.3 mph) in 4.9 seconds with virtually silent thrust that is a major aspect of the fascination of electric driving. In electric mode, interior noise in the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is better than in a luxury sedan.
And even at a constant 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in EV mode, it is generally only the electric motor that is in operation provided that there is sufficient battery energy. Pure electric mode extends all the way up to 130 km/h (80.8 mph). If the driver floors the accelerator, hybrid mode is activated and the combustion engine joins in. The two engines begin working together sooner if the driver has selected the sporty S mode. Boost begins earlier and the A3 Sportback e-tron accelerates with 350 Nm (258.1 lb-ft) of system torque. When the driver lets up on the accelerator in S mode, the system recovers energy via coasting recuperation, whereas in D mode the hybrid system deactivates both drives and switches into gliding mode. The kinetic energy is now used to achieve maximum range via rolling, and engine drag losses are minimized.
The driver of the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron can intervene in the hybrid management system at any time. In addition to the S tronic, this is also possible via the special EV button on the instrument panel, which can be used to choose between four modes:
- “EV” prioritizes the electric drive. The “charge” setting is used to charge the battery as quickly as possible while driving. In “hybrid hold” mode, the energy is stored in the battery for later use, such as for urban driving at the destination or for boosting if the S tronic is in S.
- In “auto,” optimal use is made of the electrical energy in combination with the combustion engine to achieve minimal fuel consumption even over longer distances.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.