A udi leaves at the LA Auto Show a derivative of the E-Tron Quattro with the name addition Sportback debut. The electric crossover has a coupé body with a gently sloping roofline and a fastback, which gives it a decent touch of elegance compared to its SUV brother. At the same time, the cutbacks in terms of practical use should be kept within limits.
Similar dimensions inside and outside
Below the belt line and up to the B-pillar - including the front door - are E-Tron Quattro and Sportback identical. Accordingly, the dimensions are the same: both cars are 4.90 meters long and 1.94 meters wide, and the Sportback is only 13 millimeters short of exterior height. There is hardly any difference between the two model variants in terms of interior dimensions; the headroom in the rear is Audi 20 millimeters less than that of the E. -Tron Quattro. The newcomer only requires compromises when it comes to the (rear) trunk. In the normal state, the luggage compartment holds 615 instead of 660 liters, the maximum volume is 1,655 instead of 1,725 liters.
Since the Sportback 55 uses the platform and thus the drive technology of the E-Tron Quattro, we also recognize the data. In the normal state, the two electric motors jointly produce 265 kW (360 hp) and offer a maximum torque of 561 Newton meters. The performance: 6.6 seconds from zero to one hundred and 200 km /h top speed. In boost mode it is even 300 kW (408 hp), 664 Newton meters and 5.7 seconds in the standard sprint for a maximum of eight seconds. In theRange, the Sportback has advantages over its model brother: Audi states an operating range of 446 kilometers according to WLTP - 35 kilometers more than a classic SUV.
New basic engine with 230 kW /313 PS
Like this, the Sportback also has the new basic engine with the code number 50. This model variant has an output reduced to 230 kW (313 hp) and a torque reduced to a maximum of 540 Newton meters. This extends the zero-to-hundred sprint to 6.8 seconds and the top speed drops to 190 km /h. The range is also reduced, to 347 kilometers. The reason is that the battery has been reduced from 95 to 71 kilowatt hours gross (64.7 instead of 86.5 net), which only consists of 27 instead of 36 modules.
Compared to the well-known E-Tron, the Sportback has one more favorable aerodynamics (drag coefficient of 0.25 instead of 0.27). But not only that. He introduces some technical innovations that should make the drive more efficient and will soon also be available for the E-Tron Quattro. These include, for example, detailed improvements to the chassis and power electronics. But the S-Line package, which the Sportback is introducing for the entire series, also contributes to the increased range with its somewhat more favorable flow properties; According to Audi, this alone makes a range of three kilometers.
Audi is pushing the limits of the battery pack more
The optional 22-inch rims are also new for the first half of 2020; they too will soon be available for the E-Tron SUV. The navigation software has been optimized, for example by showing all Ionity fast charging stations without exception. In addition, the E-Tron Sportback recovers differently than the Quattro has done so far. Although the effect is more noticeable for the driver - testers and customers of the E-Tron Quattro have warned about this - the recuperation has no different effect on energy management than was previously the case. Audi is also pushing the limits of the battery pack more strongly; the E-Trons now use 91 instead of 88 percent of their battery capacity.
The cockpit is completely taken over by the Sportback from its brother that is already available. In other words: He also has two monitors in the center console and one as a digital cluster behind the steering wheel. On request, two more can be added in the front area of the doors. That is when the optional rearview cameras take the place of the two exterior mirrors.
The Digital Matrix Light will come in mid-2020
Speaking of visibility: Audi will be leading this with the E-Tron Sportback in mid-2020 new Digital Matrix Light. Thanks to an integrated chip, the system divides its LED light into 1.2 million individual pixels. This should lead to an even brighter carpet of light in front of the car. But the technology can do even more: For example, it can display dynamic cornering lights, reduce the area of the light carpet when approaching the vehicle in front so as not to dazzle it, or use additional lines in the light cone to depict the exact dimensions of the car. This can be an advantage when things get tight around the car. The function promises a cool effect, in which when the lane changes, the carpet of light is thrown onto the adjacent lane before the car even drives there.
The Digital Matrix Light also has varied animated light games for greeting and farewell. It is therefore a first step towards establishing communication between the car and its surroundings, says Audi. An aspect that will become more important in autonomous driving.
The order lists for the E-Tron Sportback will open during the LA Auto Show. It will go on sale in spring 2020, probably in February. The prices have so far only been calculated for the entry-level model 50 Sportback, which is available from 71,350 euros. The 55 Sportback should be around 2,500 to 3,000 euros above the E-Tron Quattro, which costs at least 80,900 euros.