Audi continues to make efforts in offering its UK clients hybrid alternatives in the compact segment. The most recent effort is based on the already eco-friendly A3.

A new, more powerful 45 TFSI e version of the Sportback lines up alongside the recently launched 40 TFSI e model, bringing a choice of outputs for the first time at this level.

With peak system power of 245PS and 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) of system torque, the newcomer will be positioned as a top-tier S line Competition model when it becomes available in the UK early in 2021.

Like its sister model, the new A3 Sportback 45 TFSI e is equipped with a 1.4-litre combustion engine with 150 PS and 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft) of torque which is complemented by a permanently excited synchronous electric motor contributing 80 kW and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) of torque.

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Control software gives this new version its 41 PS and 50 Nm (36.9 lb-ft) power and torque advantage over the A3 40 TFSI e by regulating the interplay between the two power sources even more precisely to further enhance their complementary operation, particularly under maximum power.

The electric motor is integrated into the housing of the six-speed S tronic transmission, which drives the front wheels. It is fed by a lithium-ion battery with a package of 96 prismatic cells capable of storing 13.0 kWh of energy, and of charging with a maximum of 2.9 kW. An empty battery can be recharged in around five hours using a domestic AC wallbox charger.

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With a system output of 245 PS and 400 Nm (295.0 lb-ft) of system torque, the compact PHEV model has the potential to accelerate from rest to 62mph in 6.8 seconds, and to continue to a top speed of 144mph. When efficiency is the focus it can travel at up to 87mph without intervention by the petrol engine, and has proved in the WLTP test that it can do so for up to 37 emission-free miles.