Audi is following up on the success of its battery-powered mid-size crossover SUV revealed last year with a coupe/SUV version. Dubbed the 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback, many are touting the car as ‘the A7 of Audi electric vehicles (EVs),’ the smaller but very capable sibling of the A8.
The German carmaker’s second electric car, revealed at the recently opened 2019 LA Auto Show, delivers up to 355 hp and 561 Nm that’s good for a range of 446 kms from a single battery charge. An available overboost mode—the same one found in the SUV version—pushes power and torque to 402 hp and 664 Nm, respectively.
The car’s overall length is 4,901 mm, which is the same as the SUV. That said, the most obvious difference between the two cars is the Sportback’s lower stance and the more pronounced sloping angle of the roofline. These differences account for an additional 10 kms of range, according to Audi. Another prominent feature, the third side window’s lower edge rises towards the rear – a common Sportback design cue.
Likewise, Audi allows the e-tron Sportback to use 86.5 kWh of its 95 kWh battery pack, whereas the SUV is limited to 83.6 kWh of power. This translates to the Sportback’s 446-km range, while the SUV maxes out at 420 kms. The 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback can reach up to 80 percent charge in under an hour using 150-kW fast-charging stations.
It’s worth noting that the Sportback and SUV share the same electric drivetrain and battery, albeit with a few tweaks done to improve performance on the former. As for the rest of the performance numbers, Audi is claiming a 0 to 100 kph acceleration time of 5.7 seconds for the Sportback. Top speed, on the other hand, caps off at 200 kph.
Of course, the angled roofline comes with a tradeoff—head room and cargo capacity suffers out back, which means less comfort for rear passengers and less room for storage. Audi says that the headroom at the rear is lower by 0.8 inches compared to the SUV because of the sharply curving roof.
Save for the more cramped interior, the Sportback cabin isn’t any less luxurious than its SUV sibling. Featuring an ‘an elegant lounge’ that seamlessly blends ‘design and technology,’ the interior is characterized by a generous arc that runs the entire length of the instrument panel. Two touchscreen displays—one on top of the other—are angled towards the driver for easier viewing and improved ergonomic. The upper screen blends seamlessly into the large gloss-black surround when not in use.
Of course, Audi didn’t leave out any of its advanced driver assist systems, which are available either as standard or option. Inside the Audi e-tron Sportback 2020, you’ll find that the Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front safety systems come as standard. These systems sense collision hazards before they happen and deploy specific protective measures—from full braking to tensioning of the seatbelts—to protect occupants from injury and other risks. Intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist, and lane change and exit warning functions come with the City assist package.
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