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2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback: Optics are everything



  2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback electric car 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show
Stephen Edelstein / Digital Trends

For a first try in a mass-market electric car, the Audi E-Tron is damned good. But one area where it could be better is the styling. Audi has packed its latest technology into a very nondescript package. The Audi E-Tron Sportback 2020 fixes this by giving the E-Tron's basic mechanical package an extraverted design. The Sportback debuts in 201

9 at the Los Angeles Auto Show, but should be seen in the showrooms until the end of 2020.

The E-Tron Sportback is an "SUV Coupé", a concept popularized by other German luxury brands. Coupés traditionally have two doors, but to make an SUV coupe, all you have to do is lower the roof line to give the car a less boxy profile. This usually means sacrificing the rear height and cargo space for a sleeker look to save some of the "benefits" of "sport utility vehicles". Audi claims, however, that the rear height in the Sportback is only 0.8 inches below that of the standard E-Tron. Audi also claims that the drag coefficient of the Sportback of 0.25 is better than that of the standard E-Tron, so that the design could actually have a practical use. Both models use the same 95-kilowatt-hour battery, which according to Audi gives the Sportback a range of 277 miles in the European WLTP test cycle. The automaker did not give a range estimate for the test cycle in the US, but the standard E-Tron is rated 204 miles.

Like the standard E-Tron, the Sportback gets an electric motor for each axle, which generates four-wheel drive. In Europe, Audi will offer two output powers, but in the US only the stronger performance is expected. That means 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque, allowing for 0 to 100 km / h in 6.6 seconds. However, the Sportback also has a "boost" mode, which temporarily boosts power to 402 bhp and 489 lb-ft and shortens the sprint from zero to 100 km / h to 5.7 seconds. The maximum speed is electronically limited to 200 km / h.

The Sportback is also equipped with technology from the standard E-Tron, which is not available in the US due to regulations, including camera mirrors, and the Matrix LED lighting system from Audi. In the Sportback, the lights can even be used to project images onto the floor or walls or, according to Audi, create a "carpet of light" to illuminate the driver's lane. The current federal regulations, however, do not allow these complex lighting systems.

We get the same two-display MMI infotainment system and the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster used in the standard E-Tron and other newer Audi models. The Sportback also has the same fast charging capability of 150 kilowatts of direct current as the standard E-Tron. According to Audi, it can be charged in less than 30 minutes to 80%. Assuming you find a station with a capacity of 150 kW.

The Audi E-Tron Sportback 2020 will be launched in Europe in the spring of 2020 and will be launched in the US some time later. Pricing will be announced shortly, but the Sportback will likely earn a premium over the standard E-Tron, which is currently starting at $ 75,795. Audi has at least two more electric cars in the pipeline: the E-Tron GT (essentially a revamped Porsche Taycan) and a smaller SUV based on the Q4 E-Tron concept.

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