Make / Model Search

Future models - Audi - e-Tron - Sportback concept

LA show: Audi reveals E-Tron Sportback

Slippery Audi E-Tron Sportback goes further than its electric E-Tron twin

20 Nov 2019

AUDI claims a sleeker design is a major contributor to a 10 per cent better driving range of the first slope-backed electric E-Tron Sportback over its boxier E-Tron SUV twin.


Revealed today at the Los Angeles motor show, the E-Tron Sportback 55 Quattro can apparently cover 446km of driving range on its 95kWh lithium-ion battery pack, compared with 400km for the previously unveiled SUV wagon equivalent.


Audi says that of the extra 46km of range, about 10km is attributed to better aerodynamics that include sci-fi gadgets such as optional virtual mirrors that help bring the Sportback’s drag coefficient down to 0.25Cd .


While that is laudable, rival BMW somewhat spoiled the celebration by announcing that is new i4 all-electric crossover due in 2021 will cover about 600km on a charge of its smaller 80kWh battery.


What’s more, BMW claims its first mid-sized EV will hit 100km/h in four seconds, compared with the Audi’s 5.7s.


However, the Audi E-Tron duo will land on the market in 2020 – up to a year ahead of the Beemer which will not be in showrooms until sometime in 2021.


Audi Australia confirmed that the E-Tron Sportback will land here in the second half of 2020, after the E-Tron SUV.


Like the E-Tron wagon, the coupe-style E-Tron Sportback will come with two choices of powertrain.


The flagship 55 gets the 95kWh battery and twin motors with a maximum output of 300kW of power and 664Nm of torque on “boost” mode – an eight-second burst of extra power.


The cheaper 50 gets a smaller 71kWh battery and 230kW/540Nm twin-motor powertrain for a driving range of 347km on the European WLTP test.


Because the smaller battery pack of the 50 weighs 120kg less than that of the 55, the less powerful 50 can still scoot to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds.


The 55’s batteries can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in less than 30 minutes on a 150kW fast-charger. The 50’s batteries take a similar time, but can only take a 120kW charge.


The sloped rear roofline of the Sportback has a downside – 20mm less headroom for rear seat passengers.


Audi says the Sportback has 615 litres of luggage space, 60L of which is under the bonnet. With the rear seats folded, the space expands to 1655L.


The Sportback claims a world first over its E-Tron sibling – digital micromirror-controlled LED headlights.


The system has at its heart a small chip containing one million micromirrors, each of whose edge length measures just a few hundredths of a millimetre.


Says Audi: “With the help of electrostatic fields, each individual micromirror can be tilted up to 5000 times per second. Depending on the setting, the LED light is either directed via the lenses onto the road or is absorbed in order to mask out areas of the light beam.”


The system can neatly pick out the lane of the road that the E-Tron Sportback is navigating, creating what the company describes as “a carpet of light”.


Like other matrix LED headlights, it can mask other road users from glare, but Audi says it does this more accurately. The lights have a number of other tricks, such as beaming the Audi logo on the ground or a wall, and lighting up corners and tight city spaces when turning.


Design-wise, the E-Tron Sportback still has Audi’s signature single-frame grille, but it is largely blocked out for aero purposes.


The Sportback’s adaptive air suspension can raise or lower the vehicle according to need, over a range of 76mm. At highway speeds, the body is dropped to its lowest level to improve both stability and aerodynamic drag.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Audi models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here