The Alpine Ski World Championships have just ended, but for Audi the Dolomite commitments are not yet behind us. In Cortina d’Ampezzo it almost feels like summer, because there are people out and about enjoying the sun with an ice cream. And there are others that drive the new Audi Q3 TFSI and, that is, the plug-in version of the most popular SUV with the insignia of the Four Rings. The model is also offered as a Sportback, i.e. with a slightly more fashionable coupé body.
The hybrid system is what the entire Volkswagen group offers on its draft models: it is run in, in short. Audi has inevitably chosen to offer it only in its most performing variant, with 245 hp and 400 Nm of torque. The hybrid option is worth a zero-emission (homologated) mileage of up to 51 kilometers and, above all, government incentives of up to 6,500 in case of scrapping. It means that the admission price can go down to 41,400 euros.
At least for the first hundred kilometers, the declared mileage is between 62.5 and 47.6 km per liter (between 58.8 and 50 for the Sportback) starting with charged batteries. Along the hairpin bends that lead to the almost 2,300 meters of altitude of the Giau pass, the autonomy of the 13 kWh lithium-ion battery runs out quickly (from a simple domestic socket it charges in 5 hours). Consumption rises quickly, also it must be admitted that during this test those behind the wheel have a lot of fun and do absolutely nothing to contain them. The maximum speed is 210 km / h, 140 in electric mode.
The show is impressive and double. On the one hand, the immensity of the Dolomites, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which can be perceived beyond the walls of snow “murano” the road, on the other hand the hybrid technology of the German SUV perfectly at ease on the “gravel” asphalt. Yes, because even if the temperatures have risen dramatically, there is still sand scattered on the road in recent weeks to reduce problems in the event of ice.
The Audi Q3 plug-in does not hesitate: it is precise and responsive. No rolling sensation – just a great impression of safety. Even downhill the hairpin bends are not a problem: of course, the asphalt is dry, but the driving is, as it were, “happy”. For this reason, the on-board computer reaches consumption levels of around 12 l / 100 km: practically inevitable when traveling in this way and also setting the battery charging mode (otherwise Audi talks about 4.4 euros per day for full electric fuel. ). To increase the range, simply lift your foot off the accelerator, but the combination of almost deserted roads and a very pleasant SUV to drive is almost unrepeatable.
The itinerary for the return to Cortina d’Ampezzo also includes the Falzarego, another Dolomite pass to reach which the road climbs nervously towards the top, only a hundred meters lower than the other. The hybrid Q3 has an acceleration from 0 to 100 of 7.3 seconds, even if the perception – which depends on the size of the road, always seems too narrow – is that of an even more brilliant acceleration.
The installation of the battery involved the partial sacrifice of the trunk, which has a capacity of about 150 liters less than that of the versions with a conventional engine and is between 380 and 1,375 (1,250 for the coupé). In curves to the right, the inclination of the front pillar “disturbs” the driver a little, even if the sensation is accentuated by the type of road.
The electronics help those behind the wheel and the infotainment also meets the other occupants: up to five, but hardly any adults would like to occupy the rear center seat. The standard equipment is important right from the entry model, which for both bodies is the TFSI e. Among other things, it includes the 10.25 ” digital cockpit (on the Sportback there is the virtual cockpit of the same size), the dual-zone climate control, the cruise control, the speed limiter and the sliding rear bench seat (40:20: 40).
Audi Q3 TFSI e (i.e. plug-in hybrid) – the card
What is that: The Q3 is worth a fifth of Audi’s total volumes. With the plug-in declination, the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer expands the offer of a strategic model (one model out of two in the “Q” range is a Q3), with which it presides over the highly competitive segment of premium compact SUVs, also in variant coupe. The Sportback version has a slight prevalence. On the Italian market, plug-in models should account for almost 20% of Q3 sales.
Dimensions: length 4.48 meters (4.5 the Sportback), width 1.86 (1.84), height 1.62 (1.57), wheelbase 2.68.
Rivals: the plug-in versions of the BMW X1 and X2, the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 and the Volvo XC40
Engines: the hybrid system is the “classic” one of the Volkswagen group, namely the four-cylinder turbo gasoline TFSI from 1.4 liters with 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque combined with the 110 hp electric unit, the 6-speed S tronic double-clutch automatic transmission and the 13 kWh battery. The system power is 245 Hp and 400 Nm. The drive is front
Advantages: progressive steering precision, driving dynamics, braking system
Defects: luggage compartment capacity, visibility (the left A-pillar bothers her a little)
Production: Györ (Hungary)
Prices: the Audi Q3 TFSI and is offered starting at 47,900 euros. The Sportback version costs 50,900 euros. All plug-in versions of the model benefit from government incentives: up to 6,500 euros in case of scrapping