Like the rest of the VW Group, Audi recognises that it has to get its fleet emissions down – and fast. It also knows that PHEVs are becoming increasingly popular for company car drivers, as well as those who are tentative about making the leap straight into an EV. Audi's UK Director, Andrew Doyle reckons the Q3, alongside the rest of the PHEV range can, “prove 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”.
Audi is using the same plug-in hybrid powertrain as can be found across much of the VW Group's small-to-medium car and SUV range. A total of 242bhp, plus 295lb-ft is available in the Q3 45 TFSI e thanks to a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine combined with an 113bhp electric motor. Power is sent through a six-speed DSG automatic gearbox with zero to 62mph dispatched in a none-too-shabby 7.3 seconds and 130mph possible at the top end.
The 13kWh battery is located under the Q3's floor in front of the rear axle and using that alone, up to 31 miles is possible at speeds of up to 87mph. Both Type 2 and mode 3 charging is possible, with a domestic AC wall box, the Q3 TFSI e can be charged in under four hours. In public, owners benefit from Audi's e-tron Charging Service, allowing them access to 155,000 Europe-wide chargers.
Like other Audis and PHEVs in VW Group's stable, different driving modes can be used depending on the requirements of the driver. With enough charge, the Q3 defaults to EV mode on start-up and hybrid mode in day-to-day driving. The petrol motor, alongside up to 40kW in regenerative braking, can be used to charge the battery, whilst a set state of charge can be held so that final mile, zero-emissions driving is always available.
As a small SUV, the Q3 and Q3 Sportback have never exactly pushed the boundaries of space. A C segment hatch offers much the same, just without a higher driving position. In both the standard Q3 45 TFSI e and the Sportback there is 380 litres of luggage space which increases to 1375 litres in the Q3, and 1250 in the Q3 Sportback with the seats folded.
All UK models – Technik, S line, Black Edition and Vorsprung – get a 10.1 inch touchscreen plus a 10.25 inch Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument binnacle. A 12.3 inch Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus is available in higher spec Vorsprung models.
All versions also get a three-year subscription to the Audi Connect portfolio of tools such as Google Earth Mapping, traffic information, points-of-interest search and Car-to-X live information. Car-to-X includes things like the availability of parking and notifications of upcoming hazards. A raft of driver aids is also available offering a level of autonomy. Smartphone connectivity is dealt with via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, and the Vorsprung version gets wireless phone charging as well as a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound.
UK prices are yet to be confirmed, but we will update this story as soon as we know. Order books will open in spring 2021.