2020 Audi E-tron Sportback Preview

Jeff Youngs | May 01, 2020
FAST FACTS
  • Audi’s second fully electric model, joining the E-tron SUV
  • Fastback SUV coupe design with seating for five people
  • EPA-estimated range of 218 miles
  • 8-year/100,000-mile battery warranty
  • Can tow up to 4,000 pounds when properly equipped
  • Limited-production Edition One model available in the U.S.
  • Pricing starts at $78,395
  • Produced in Brussels, Belgium
  • On sale in the summer of 2020

To help achieve its goal of global carbon neutrality by 2050, German luxury automaker Audi introduces the 2020 E-tron Sportback – a follow-up to the recently launched Audi E-tron SUV and the second of four all-electric vehicles the company plans to launch in the U.S. market over the next two years.

The new E-tron Sportback is based on the recently launched Audi E-tron SUV but features a more coupe-like, fastback profile design. Like the E-tron SUV, the E-tron Sportback is propelled by two electric motors drawing power from a 95-kWh battery pack. Like all other Audi models, power is sent through a Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

2020 Audi E-tron Sportback front and side view

Pricing for the 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback will start at $78,295, including the $995 destination charge. That price, however, does not include the up-to-$7,500 federal tax credit.

Exterior Features

While there’s no denying it shares most of its DNA with the E-tron SUV, the new Audi E-tron Sportback features a much flatter roofline that drops steeply down to the rear-most roof pillar, presenting a much faster, sportier look than the more traditionally styled E-tron SUV. One look at the two side-by-side and the difference in character is clear.

2020 Audi E-tron Sportback rear view

Up front, the new E-tron Sportback features what Audi calls a Singleframe grille trimmed by vertical struts. Additionally, four horizontal lighting segments distinguish the Sportback as an E-tron model – a look Audi says was inspired by the A7. The front of the E-tron Sportback also features uniquely designed air intakes. Around back, a rear spoiler and diffuser span the entire vehicle’s width.

Exclusive to the U.S. market, the E-tron Sportback features body-colored wheel arch trim, door sills, bumpers, and exterior mirrors, along with E-tron badging.

Interior Features

The feeling of familiarity continues inside the cabin of the new E-tron Sportback, which includes a large, panoramic sunroof, heated/cooled front seats, Audi Virtual Cockpit instrumentation, and a standard surround-view camera.

2020 Audi E-tron Sportback interior

Also present, a dual-display Audi Multimedia Interface (MMI) touch-response infotainment system with 10.1-inch upper and 8.6-inch lower displays includes MMI Navigation Plus, wireless phone charging, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 3D sound. Rear-seat passengers receive USB charge ports.

Optional Features

Upgrading from standard Premium Plus to Prestige trim adds a head-up display, power soft-close doors, premium leather upholstery with additional front seat adjustment and massage, an air filtration and aroma system, added safety features, and more. A Black Optics package is also available, which Audi says accentuates the grille, side windows, bumpers and exterior mirror housings.

Similar to the E-tron SUV, the available E-tron Sportback Edition One launch model will feature exclusive Plasma Blue metallic paint with 21-inch wheels and Dynamic Orange brake calipers, as well as special trim to highlight the vehicle’s sport-design front and rear bumpers. On the inside, the Edition One has exclusive Monaco Gray premium leather seating surfaces complete with a two-tone stitched dashboard and black headliner.

Power and Performance

For motivation, the 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback employs dual electric motors – one on each axle – powered by a 95-kWh battery pack that was developed in-house. The asynchronous motors are connected to a battery pack housed beneath the occupant cabin and between the axles. Audi says the resulting low center of gravity helps to achieve a near 50:50 vehicle weight distribution, thus improving handling and driving dynamics.

The E-tron Sportback has 150-kW rapid charging capability using a Level 2 fast charger, which is now available in many parts of the country. According to Audi, at 150 kW, a 10-minute charge provides 58 miles of range, or approximately one hour of driving time – more than enough for the average daily 30-minute roundtrip commute. A 30-minute charge provides 174 miles, or approximately three hours of drive time.

Similar to the E-tron SUV, the E-tron Sportback produces 355 horsepower. However, with the Drive Select transmission in Sport mode and Boost Mode engaged, output increases to 402 horsepower. This, according to the automaker, results in a zero-to-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds.

As far as efficiency is concerned, the EPA estimates that the 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback will achieve 76/78/77 MPGe (city/highway/combined).

Electric Quattro all-wheel drive is standard on the new E-tron Sportback. During most driving situations, the rear electric motor is used exclusively. If driving or road conditions warrant it, the front motor kicks in to assist with traction and grip.

The E-tron Sportback features a standard adaptive air suspension, and while it can’t pull a horse trailer with two Clydesdales on board, it can tow up to 4,000 pounds when equipped with the available towing package.

In addition to the environmental benefits of an electric drivetrain, power recovery through regenerative braking is a hallmark of many EVs, allowing the vehicle to recover energy in coasting mode when the driver releases the accelerator pedal as well as during braking. According to Audi, the energy gained through recuperation contributes about 30% of the overall vehicle’s total range.

Safety

As it is based on the E-tron SUV, the new E-tron Sportback offers the same advanced driver-assistance and collision-avoidance safety features.

Among the more interesting technologies, the standard surround-view camera system includes a virtual 360 view of the vehicle and its surroundings, and the adaptive cruise control includes Traffic Jam Assist, which helps to make the rush-hour slog easier. The lane centering assistance system includes emergency assistance, helping to bring the vehicle to a safe stop should the driver suffer a medical emergency.

Prestige and Edition One versions include Intersection Assist. This feature works similar to a rear cross-traffic warning system, but at the front of the vehicle to warn a driver if it is unsafe to drive across an intersection.

Technology

The 2020 E-tron Sportback comes standard with Audi’s MMI touch response system, which replaces the rotary dial and the conventional buttons and controls with two large, high-resolution touch displays with both haptic and acoustic feedback, handwriting recognition, and natural voice recognition. Wireless Apple CarPlay is available, along with wired Android Auto.

With this application of the technology, the MMI system features a detailed map estimating where drivers can travel on the current remaining charge and, on longer trips, can suggest charging stations along the route.

As is becoming common in luxury vehicles, Amazon Alexa is fully integrated into the E-tron Sportback and, when combined with an Audi Connect Prime subscription, enables access to news, information, music, audiobooks, and control of Alexa-enabled devices from the steering wheel.

Audi is the source of the information in this article. It was accurate as of April 30, 2020 but may have changed since that date.

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