Audi e-tron Sportback 2019: specs, prices and on-sale date
Audi will have three electric cars on sale by the end of 2019 and the second is this, the Audi e-tron Sportback.
It'll follow the regular e-tron on to the market, but will be a subtly different type of car. Whereas the e-tron is a practical, family-friendly SUV, the Sportback will be a more style-led car with a coupe-like profile.
Audi e-tron Sportback styling
We’re yet to see what the finished article will look like, but we expect that it'll closely follow the concept in our pictures, which was unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2017.
This is about the same length as an Audi A7, but the same height as an Audi Q2. And while it’s a big car, Audi has employed some neat tricks – like the two-tone black and silver roof – to hide just how big it is.
Naturally, some of the more exotic features on the concept won’t make production, but the sunken bonnet and inverted grille are expected to feature on all e-tron models in the future.
Lighting was a particular focus for the concept’s designers, who made the Audi logos at the front and rear of the car out of LEDs. The headlights are also made of LEDs and include projectors that can display messages – such as which direction the car is turning – on to the ground.
Again, we’re yet to see the finished article, so we don’t know quite what the Sportback will look like inside. However, the concept featured a very similar setup to the e-tron, so it seems sensible to assume that the production car will do the same.
We expect to see the same centrally mounted twin touchscreens to control the infotainment and climate control. And we expect the car will also feature Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which has a configurable digital display instead of conventional dials.
The real talking point inside the concept was the use of electro lighting surfaces. These are made of an exceptionally thin material that lights up when the car is started and are fitted to the concept’s centre console and sections of the seats. The intention is to give the car a feeling of light and space.
The concept is powered by a set of three electric motors – two on the rear axle, one on the front – that together produced a total of 429bhp. There’s also a boost function that gives the best part of 500bhp for 10 seconds, and Audi says that the car can rattle off the 0-62mph sprint in 4.5 seconds.
Although the car does have four-wheel-drive capability, the default option is for it to run in front-wheel drive. Only when the car detects some slip will it start to drive the rear wheels to get the best traction. On top of that, torque vectoring is fitted to help the car handle as sportily as possible through the bends.
As yet, we don’t know the specification of the production car, but we understand Audi is considering making the e-tron Sportback available with a choice of power outputs, just as Tesla does with its models.
Range and charging
The concept used a 95kWh battery, which is said to give a range of some 310 miles on a full charge. And, according to Audi, owners will be able to give the car an 80% charge in 30 minutes from a 150kWh source – which Audi is hoping to roll out as part of a project with Daimler and BMW.