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New Audi Q3 hybrid extends plug-in line-up

The first ever plug-in hybrid Audi model in the compact SUV class combines 245PS system output with scope for emission-free travel for up to 31 miles.

The new Q3 45 TFSI e is the eighth member of the electrified TFSI e family and will be available to order in the UK next spring in Q3 and coupé-inspired Q3 Sportback forms.

The former will feature Technik, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung specification options, with 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. However, Audi says that electric-only driving range may differ in models equipped to UK specification.

Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle said: "Like our other PHEV models, the new Q3 TFSI e can help to allay those concerns by proving how easily an EV can be assimilated into life, while also offering the safety net of an economical combustion engine which can greatly expand its range and refuelling possibilities if required. It’s a great way to begin gradually embracing the future of mobility.“

The four-cylinder 1.4 TFSI petrol engine powering both new Q3 models contributes 150PS output, and this is supplemented by the 85 kW of power delivered by the electric motor.

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 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.

In Auto-Hybrid mode, the main operating mode, the drive management system divides the tasks between the 1.4 TFSI and the electric motor.

The electric motor supports the four-cylinder engine in a wide range of situations, such as when overtaking or when accelerating from low speeds.

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.

The standalone Q3 Technik model rides on 17-inch alloy wheels, while the SUV and Sportback move up to 19-inch rims when equipped to S line and Black Edition level, and to a 20-inch design in Vorsprung form.

From S line level upwards all models benefit from privacy glass and the exclusive S line design for the bumpers, sill trims and diffuser, while Black Edition and Vorsprung versions add a black styling pack which darkens elements such as the grille surround, window cappings, roof rails (SUV only) and door mirror housings. LED lighting is standard across the board, with Vorsprung versions upgrading to Matrix LED units for even more precisely targeted illumination.

S line interior detailing is common to all specification options bar the entry level Technik, with Piano Black inlays and a flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel setting apart the Black Editions.

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