2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback: The Original Electric Crossover’s More Fashionable Cousin
Coupe-inspired electric crossovers are becoming a thing.
It’s no mystery that Audi is on an electrification binge as it attempts to take a piece of Tesla’s market share, beginning its “20 new EV models by 2025” initiative with last year's E-Tron crossover. With the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show happening this week, Ingoldstadt revealed its newest addition to the EV offensive: the all-new E-Tron Sportback. Think of it as the standard E-Tron’s more fashionable, fancier, and more powerful cousin.
The new E-Tron Sportback follows the controversial but hugely popular “coupe SUV” trend, appealing not just to the EV savvy, but the stylistically conscious as well. Overall dimensions virtually remain the same, minus the Sportback’s sloping roofline, which cuts into the rear trunk space and rear headroom, an obvious side-effect from a more rakishly curved and lower roofline.
But the slicker shape isn’t just for the sake of styling as the E-Tron Sportback boasts a better drag coefficient than its regular sibling, meaning it’s more aerodynamic.
There’s now a choice of powertrains as well: Sportback 50 and the Sportback 55. Two electric motors power each of the axles like the regular E-Tron, simulating all-wheel drive a la e-Quattro. The new base Sportback 50 produces around 230 kilowatts, or approximately the equivalent of 308 mechanical horsepower, and 398 pound-feet of torque.
The top-spec Sportback 55 essentially shares the same powertrain as the standard E-Tron, producing 265 kW—or 355 hp—and 413 lb-ft of torque. Enable the Sportback 55’s S mode and like the regular E-Tron, the boost function engages to crank the power to an impressive 300 kW/402 hp, and 490 torques, resulting in a 0-60 time of around 5.7 seconds. With the right charging unit, the E-Tron Sportback 55 can juice up to nearly 80 percent of its battery capacity in a matter of 30 minutes.
Upping the nerdy cool factor on the Sportback is the standardization of Audi’s latest LED digital matrix headlights, which can adjust at nearly up to 5,000 times per second, according to driving conditions. But sadly, since our headlight regulations are still horridly outdated, our versions of the E-Tron Sportback won't get these trick units.
Audi only revealed the sales launch date for the European specification E-Tron Sportback, which commences in the spring of 2020. Dealers across the pond, however, will begin taking orders at the end of this month, with prices starting at around $79,000. In comparison, the standard E-Tron SUV stamps its introductory price tag at $74,800.
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