2020 Audi e-tron Sportback: prices, specs and release date
The Audi e-tron Sportback has a 278-mile range and starts at £79,900
- e-tron Sportback is Audi’s second electric SUV
- On sale now
- Entry-level version due later
The Audi e-tron Sportback is now available to order for a starting price of £79,900. The coupe-SUV styling costs approximately £3,600 more than the equivalent Audi e-tron SUV, but less expensive entry-level models will join the range later on.
From launch you can only choose from high-spec S line and Launch Edition versions. S line cars feature huge 21-inch alloy wheels, sports air suspension, Matrix LED headlights (giving full-beam brightness without blinding other drivers) and eye-catching exterior trim. Launch Edition trim includes a different wheel design, a black styling pack, cameras instead of door mirrors and some of Audi’s very latest safety tech.
The similarities to the regular Audi e-tron are clear to see; in fact, everything from the front doors forwards is the same. The front end has sharp LED headlights and an eight-sided grille that can open and close automatically, while the rear features a full-width light bar that connects the two tail lights. There’s black plastic cladding around the wheel arches and sills to emphasise its SUV size and appearance. Towards the back end, the design is much more rakish than the car it’s based on, to give a more coupe-like shape.
Just like the Audi e-tron SUV, there are two different versions of the Sportback. The entry-level ‘50 quattro’ model has a 71kWh battery; it develops 308bhp and offers a claimed range of 216 miles. A ‘55 quattro’ model has a 95kWh battery pack and a motor on each axle. Total output is 402bhp, so 0-62mph is dealt with in just 5.7 seconds and the top speed is limited to 124mph. You’ll get up to 278 miles of range between charges. At present, S line and Launch Edition models are only offered with the 55 quattro powertrain.
We expect most Sportback buyers will be sold on the looks alone, but it actually manages more range than the e-tron SUV. That’s partly thanks to a more streamlined shape, which adds six miles of extra range.
A host of other upgrades include more powerful charging capability, stronger brake regeneration (to slow down, you’ll only need to take your foot off the accelerator), and the removal of one of the cooling pumps. Audi found it could function fine with one cooling pump instead of two, so the other has been ditched to save weight. The front motor can also stop working to save energy. These features will be rolled out to the e-tron SUV too.
Inside the cabin, the car is far more conventional and a lot of the hardware is shared with other big Audis. All models will get the company’s Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard display, while the centre console is likely to house two touchscreens; the top one will include a navigation system that is tailored to electric cars.
As you might expect from the sportier shape, the e-tron Sportback isn’t as practical as the SUV. While 35 litres fewer than the SUV, the Sportback still has a big 615-litre boot with the rear seats up - as well as a handy front trunk under the bonnet.