Audi unveiled Tuesday evening a new “steeply raked d-pillar” version of the all-electric quasi-SUV E-Tron called “Sportback” ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. When properly equipped, this new E-Tron actually has an aerodynamic advantage over the standard version, offering a drag coefficient of 0.25 when equipped with the S line exterior package and the (Europe-only) exterior rear view camera package. This contributes to about 6.2 miles of added range on the WLTP test cycle. Neat.
Like its non-Sportback’d E-Tron sibling, the Sportback is available in 50 Quattro and 55 Quattro versions. Though an Audi spokesperson tells me we won’t be getting the 50 here in the U.S.
The E-Tron Sportback 50 Quattro offers 230 kW of power output, combined with max torque of 398 lb-ft. Because of this lower power and pricepoint, the 50 makes do with about 265 pounds less battery than its more powerful sibling, giving it a range of just 215.6 miles on WTLP.
The E-Tron Sportback 55 Quattro is the more powerful of the two, putting out 265 kW and 414 lb-ft of torque with an available overboost mode with 300 kW and 490 lb-ft. This gives the large machine a 0-62 time of 5.7 seconds. Even with all that extra power output, the 55's larger battery pack allows it to achieve 277.1 miles of range on WTLP cycle.
The 50 can charge up at 120 kW DC fast chargers, reaching 80% battery in about half an hour. The 55 can achieve exactly the same feat, but using 150 kW DC fast charge.
Luggage space is down to 21.7 cubic feet with the seats up, and 58.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. But don’t forget about the incredibly cavernous 2.1 cubic feet of space available in the front trunk. Ooooooh. Aaaaaaah.
At first glance it’s a little difficult to really tell the difference between the E-Tron and the E-Tron Sportback. But if you look closely you can see it. It’s not exactly an ugly car, but it would look so much better if it were about 5" lower to the ground and didn’t have the hideous plastic cladding around the wheel openings. Why do people like this?
The E-Tron Sportback will debut in Europe next spring with a base price of 71,350 Euros. No word yet on U.S. pricing or availability, despite the model being launched in Los Angeles.