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2021 Audi A3 45 TFSI e blends power and efficiency in a compact package

Audi’s smallest car has been electrified and it promises to let you have your cake and eat it too. Powering the 2021 Audi A3 45 TFSI e is 1.4-liter turbo-four paired to an electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Total system output is 242 hp and a whopping 295 lb-ft of torque. In EV mode, Audi says this A3 can travel up to 39 miles on a single charge. The added power also helps acceleration times, with the A3 45 TFSi e hitting 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.8 seconds.

In typical plug-in hybrid fashion, you get multiple drive modes that let you maximize the A3’s efficiency. There’s a Battery Hold mode that keeps the current battery charge, an EV mode, and an Auto Hybrid model that uses the gas engine, electric motor, or both as needed. Audi’s drive mode selector, called Drive Select, is also standard on the A3 45 TFSI e, allowing you to configure the vehicle to your liking.

Since it’s the sportier hybrid in the Audi A3 lineup, A3 45 TFSi e gets subtle design tweaks over other A3 models. A more aggressive front end, blacked out window surrounds, and black side mirror covers give the exterior a bit more differentiation. Inside, you get sport seats with more bolstering compared to the standard A3. The A3 45 TFSI e also gets unique gauges that show things like battery charge and range.

The question that remains is will the Audi A3 45 TFSI e come to North America? In the cool hatchback that Audi showed off, no. If this vehicle was to come to this side of the pond, it would arrive in sedan form, which is the preferred non-SUV body style, particularly in the U.S. Should this variant indeed cross the Atlantic, expect this to slot above the standard A3 and cost more thanks to the hybrid powertrain.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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