2022 Audi A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e Is a Sportier PHEV for Europe

The Audi A3 Sportback has always been a svelte little hatchback, but in its latest guise—the A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrid—gets a notable power boost and some extra equipment, compared to its 40 TFSI e counterpart. What’s particularly interesting is that there are no powertrain changes—the same gas engine and electric motor are present, producing the same amount of power, but a software change allows an extra 40.5 hp and 37 lb-ft of maximum power. Neat!

What’s less neat is that these A3 Sportback models are limited to Europe. There are rumors that, eventually, we’ll get hybrid versions of the A3 in this body style—after all, the now-defunct last-gen A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid hatchback was sold here—but for now all Audi A3s in America are four-door sedans.

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Since the possibility exists these might come at some point, let’s take a closer look at the hardware onboard. Both the 40 and 45 TFSI e models use a 1.4-liter turbocharged gas engine that makes 148 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, paired to an electric motor good for 80 kW and 243 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor is integrated into the six-speed dual-clutch transmission’s housing. A lithium ion battery stores 13 kWh of energy, good for a 46-mile range on Europe’s NEDC test standard—about 5 miles further than the 40.

The 45 TFSI e is reasonably quick for a PHEV, making the run to 62 mph in 6.8 seconds—quicker than the 40, which only manages that speed in 7.6 seconds. There are a few notable dynamic and feature updates over the 40, too. There are larger brakes behind the 17-inch wheels, and the following come standard on the 45 but not on the 40: sport seats, Audi drive select, two-zone climate control, and a convenience key.

The A3 45 TFSI e starts at around $50,310 (at the time of this writing, including VAT but before any subsidies) in Europe. The 40 TFSI e, by comparison, starts at roughly $45,500.

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