- the 2020 audi e-tron sportback is making its debut at the los angeles auto show and will reach european buyers in the spring of 2020. america comes later.
- the look is basically an evolution of the current e-tron.
- the price can be expected to be close to $80,000 when it goes on sale in the u.s..
audi lifted the cover on the new e-tron sportback just ahead of the first press day at the l.a. auto show, and it’s basically an evolution, rather than a revolutionary redo of the current e-tron. there are two versions available, with the more desirable (and more powerful) 55 quattro slated for u.s. sale. it offers a combined 413 lb-ft of torque from two electric motors, one at each axle. and you can mainline the red bull hit for a brief, eight-second burst in sport mode, cranking torque to 489 lb-ft.
audi is claiming a zero-to-62-mph time of 5.7 seconds, roughly consistent with the 5.3 seconds we reported in our testing of the 2019 e-tron. top speed is limited to 124 mph.
as for size, this is essentially analogous to an a7 vs. an a6. it's identical in length and width to the e-tron, but with a two-inch-lower roofline. inside, that translates to just shy of an inch less headroom for rear-seat passengers, and thanks to that sloping lid, cargo space drops from 29.0 cubic feet to 21.7 when combining space behind the rear seats and in the tiny frunk.
the claimed range on the european test cycle is 277 miles, although the 2019 e-tron's epa-rated range is 204 miles. we don't expect the sportback to exceed that range, especially since the sportback is using the identical power configuration of 95.0-kwh batteries. that slippery shape will be especially peaceful though, we'll wager, since our test of the e-tron found it to be one of the quietest vehicles we've ever tested.
it can be charged up to 80 percent in under an hour at 150-kw fast-charging stations.
some of the tech features announced, we won't actually get in the u.s., thanks to differences in government regulations. the nifty virtual mirrors audi first showed in 2018 that can be had on this car in europe when it debuts in spring (we get the sportback a few months later) won't meet federal muster. a shame, because they're smart, both cheating wind by being smaller and displaying more visual information that helps the driver see curbs during parking and a wider field of view on the highway. it's possible, too, that we'll never get the clever new headlights comprising a million micro mirrors that work more like tiny little video projectors, sending the led signal far more precisely, so it can be far brighter directly in front of the car—for instance, to show the precise edge of lane markings, while still not blinding oncoming drivers. compared to standard leds that just shine in a fixed pattern, this is a far more intelligent idea, but only for europeans.
at least some of the new tech on the sportback will debut on the car that comes to our shores, including a variable air intake that, depending on need, sends air to the front brakes or sweeps past the front wheels. and on request you can order yours with 22-inch rubber, one size up from the 21-inchers on the e-tron.
audi officials also said they're not ruling out the possibility of a performance e-tron at some point, too, pointing to the e-tron gt concept car as proof they're actively exploring that possibility.