Audi e-tron Sportback 2020: specs, prices and on-sale date
The new Audi e-tron Sportback electric coupe-SUV has been revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show, ahead of the car’s full launch in 2020.
As is the case with the standard e-tron SUV on which the Sportback is based, two versions are available: the 308bhp Sportback 50 quattro features a 71kWh battery giving 216 miles of range, while the 55 quattro gets a 95kWh battery returning up to 278 miles on a charge.
The latter car is also more powerful, with a dual electric motor setup producing 402bhp. Acceleration from 0-62mph should take 5.7 seconds, with a top speed limited to 124mph.
New features – which will be added to the current e-tron as well – include a battery with slightly more usable capacity and a front motor that can disconnect from the powertrain to save energy when required.
Audi has also removed a cooling pump from the system, helping to save weight, while the regenerative braking has been improved to allow single-pedal driving.
Like the e-tron SUV, the Sportback is built on the Volkswagen Group MLB architecture, rather than the electric-car specific MEB and PPE platforms that underpin the Volkswagen ID.3 and Porsche Taycan respectively.
Audi e-tron Sportback styling
The Audi e-tron Sportback’s design is identical to the e-tron SUV until the B-pillar, where the new car takes on its style-led roofline for a coupe-esque look. This results in a smaller boot than the e-tron, with capacity falling from 650 to 615 litres with the rear seats in their upright position.
The Sportback is about the same length as an Audi A7 and the same height as an Audi Q2. Naturally, some of the more exotic features previewed on the 2017 concept version of the vehicle – such as the sunken bonnet – haven’t made production.
Smart LED matrix projector headlights that are capable of broadcasting signals on to the road surface do feature, however. Audi claims they contain a million ‘micromirrors’ that help to provide “unprecedented” precision.
Meanwhile, Audi says a sporty S line trim will be added to the line-up, introducing 20-inch alloy wheels, gloss-black exterior detailing and air suspension.
The Audi e-tron Sportback’s interior is virtually identical to that of the standard e-tron SUV: the company’s Virtual Cockpit operates on the digital display behind the steering wheel, with an infotainment screen in the middle of the dashboard.
Beneath this, a second screen operates the climate control, heated seats and other interior functions At the extreme ends of the dashboard, a pair of small screens display the video feed from the car’s side cameras, which replace conventional mirrors.
Range and charging
Although the top-spec e-tron Sportback uses the same 95kWh battery as the standard SUV, the former extracts more range thanks to its more aerodynamic profile; the car’s sweeping shape gives it a drag coefficient of 0.25.
The e-tron Sportback’s charging performance has yet to be confirmed, but we expect it to be identical to the e-tron SUV. That means rapid-charging capability from a CCS socket of up to 150kW, with an 80% top-up taking some 30 minutes. A full charge from a 7kW home wallbox should take just over 13 hours.
The Audi e-tron Sportback will go on sale next year: prices are expected to start from around £65,000.