Compact, sporty, technological and now also ecological. The Audi A3 Sportback had already convinced in form and content at the launch of the fourth generation last summer. The wedge-shaped line, the flared sides and the more inclined uprights, a nice turn towards sportiness. It had also been adapted to the best technological standards of its fleet: therefore a third generation MIB3 platform, ten times faster in the execution speed of the programs than the previous one. Finally, a nice refresh to the Adas menu (safety systems and driving aid), some of which are offered as standard (such as emergency braking and cruise control). And now comes the updated plug-in hybrid version: the A3 Sportback TFSI e.
The Audi A 3 Sportback TFSIe
Compared to the one introduced in 2014 the charge capacity increased, thanks to lighter and more efficient components, up to 13 kWh. The electric unit combined with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder petrol engine via a separation clutch integrated into the S tronic dual-clutch transmission. The combination of the two parts guarantees a system power of 204 hp and in the course of 2021 a 245 hp option will also be available.
Being a plug-in hybrid the batteries are recharged both with a power socket and on the move, thanks to regenerative braking, which in this case uses the technology developed for the Audi e-tron (up to 40 kW of recoverable power). The electric motor in light braking works as an alternator accumulating energy, in braking over 0.3 g it leaves the task to the traditional electro-hydraulic brake system.
The beauty of this sophisticated system that the motorist does not notice anything. Just as it does not detect the activation of the electric motor when it presses the gas pedal (boost function), except for the greater thrust it receives. Or when it switches from fully electric to hybrid driving and vice versa. The rechargeable Audi A3 Sportback hybrid pushes hard when required or slips away silently with the single push of the zero-emission engine, which ensures up to 67 km of range, 20 more than the previous version.
Four driving programs respectively give priority to electric traction, automatic hybrid mode, energy saving for a subsequent phase of travel, or recharging the accumulators (a pity for the cable bag that is housed only in the luggage compartment, taking away space for suitcases). In any case, the German house guarantees a complete recharge with the domestic socket in just 5 hours.
The sense of a further step forward in terms of technology and obvious comfort, but to put this plug-in version in the garage you need to add about 11,000 euros to the 110 hp petrol version (in this case it starts from 39,200). After that, you have to do two math: with the eco-bonuses launched this year, with the discounts on road tax and insurance that over time can help amortize the initial expense (together with fuel savings). Economic advantages to be considered together with the practical ones: free access in some municipalities to the ZTL and the blue stripes, or the exemption from driving bans where foreseen causes excessive pollution.
November 24, 2020 (change November 24, 2020 | 17:40)
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