An Audi Q3 prototype believed to be a plug-in hybrid variant has been spied testing in sunny Europe this week, previewing the first electrified variant of the company's new-generation SUV.
Likely to be dubbed 'TFSI e', as is Audi's new name structure for its plug-in hybrid models, the Q3 PHEV is expected to pair a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack – good for around 50km of electric driving on the WLTP cycle.
Photographers noticed the additional flap above the front left fender, which is believed to be housing a charge port for the battery pack.
It's unclear at this stage how much power the Q3 TFSI e will develop, but we reckon it'll pair the 35 TFSI's 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with the hybrid drive system.
Expect outputs close to that of the higher-spec 45 TFSI 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine in other Audi models, which offers 185kW and 370Nm.
Audi will probably reveal the Q3 TFSI e late this year or early next, with a global sales launch rolling out in mid-2020.
The plug-in hybrid Q3 will be followed by a similarly-sized production version of the Q4 e-tron concept revealed at this year's Geneva motor show, which will likely have a lot in common with the top-selling crossover. Audi has previously indicated the Q4 e-tron will go on sale in Europe at the end of 2020.
It's unclear what plans Audi's local division has for plug-in hybrid models. Following the reveal of the A6, A7, A8 and Q5 TFSI e models, the company's Australian communications boss, Shaun Cleary, said: "We are currently evaluating these models in the context of the current and possible future market conditions".
Audi Australia seemed to backtrack slightly when the Q5 55 TFSI e was detailed in full, with Cleary saying "[there are] no immediate plans to bring the Q5 PHEV to Australia".
"While we are evaluating how the expanding Audi PHEV range will best fit into the Australian market, our shorter-term focus remains on the 2020 launch of our first all-electric vehicle, the e-tron SUV," he continued.
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