New Audi A3 plug-in hybrid: prices, specs and release date
Audi has revealed its all-new A3 Sportback – and alongside the usual array of petrols and diesels, two plug-in hybrid variants are set to arrive later this year.
The new car fits into the German brand’s latest design philosophy, adding an aggressive front end with a redesigned hexagonal grille, a set of exaggerated wheelarches and LED lights front and rear. It retains the model's familiar proportions, but is slightly larger than before – albeit with an identical height and wheelbase.
Inside, the A3’s interior gets the modern Audi treatment: a slice of metal-effect trim bisects the ergonomically designed dashboard, which itself houses a 10.25-inch infotainment screen as standard alongside Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dials. A 12.3-inch screen is standard on higher trim levels, while Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon Alexa functionality are included.
The new A3 will launch with two engines – a 1.5-litre '35 TFSI' manual petrol and 2.0-litre '35 TDI' diesel with an automatic gearbox. Other conventionally fuelled models will arrive shortly after launch, including a 1.5-litre TFSI mild hybrid.
Audi has confirmed that a plug-in hybrid A3 is the pipeline, too, available in two power outputs. Given the A3’s shared Volkswagen Group platform, it’s safe to suggest that this model will use the familiar 1.4-litre petrol-electric combination that powers other VW Group brands’ plug-in hybrid models.
The top-spec A3 PHEV is likely to get the 242bhp version of this powertrain, as found in the Skoda Octavia vRS iV, Cupra Leon eHybrid and Volkswagen Golf GTE, while the less powerful version should use the 201bhp drivetrain of the standard Octavia iV and Leon eHybrid. It’s likely that these models will adopt Audi’s ‘TFSI e’ naming structure, already seen on the Q5, Q7, A6, A7 and A8 plug-ins.
Exact specifications for the plug-in hybrid A3 models are yet to be confirmed, but other models will be available with selectable driving modes and a wealth of driver assistance and active safety features.
These include (either as standard or on the options list) collision-avoidance assistance, lane-departure warning and a range of up-to-date parking sensors and 360-degree cameras. An optional Driver Assistance Package adds even more systems, including adaptive cruise control and high-beam assistance.
Audi has only released pricing for the 35 TFSI and 35 TDI models at launch; prices start at £24,900 for the former in entry-level Technik spec and climb to £43,040 for the top-spec Vorsprung fitted with the diesel engine. It’s likely that the forthcoming plug-in hybrid models will fall into the upper half of this price range when they go on sale.