Besides the new Buick Regal wagon and a couple of insanely overpowered Dodge and Jeep products, as far as new cars and concepts went the New York Auto Show was a snoozefest. There’s a reason for this and it’s happened the last couple years too: automakers save the good shit for the Chinese show, which is in Shanghai this year. And that’s where we catch a big glimpse of Audi’s planned electric future.
Meet the Audi e-tron Sportback concept. In the wake of Dieselgate, Audi and its parent company the Volkswagen Group are going real hard on electric cars pretty much because they have to. This is dubbed a “design study and technology demonstrator,” but it’s a pretty solid preview of what’s to come—Audi says a production version is coming in 2019.
For the most part I dig it, especially from that angle above. It’s a very busy design, especially from the front and sides, but those 3D-sculpted wheels are pretty badass.
It definitely nails the whole wagon/crossover/crossover-wagon thing that people are buying into hard right now, and seems comparable to the coming Jaguar I-Pace. If you’re going to make an electric car, you may as well make one in the bodystyle everyone is buying these days.
In terms of tech specs, it has a 95 kWh battery with a predicted range of 310.7 miles, nearly 500 horsepower in full-boost mode, and a 0 to 62 mph speed of 4.5 seconds. All of that sounds seriously not bad.
Audi says its first EV, the e-tron SUV, will roll out next year with this thing following it. The luxury brand has one other electric car planned for 2020 as well. Can they get people to buy them? China’s EV market especially is pretty robust compared to the U.S. and Europe, so Shanghai is a good place to roll it out. We’ll see if Audi’s electric future will catch on elsewhere.