Apr 18, 2017
Audi has unveiled an all-electric crossover concept that previews a new model that will arrive in 2019.
The Audi e-tron Sportback Concept, which debuted at the Shanghai Auto Show, has 430 hp (and up to 500 hp in boost mode) and can get to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds. Power is routed to all four wheels, with one electric motor over the front axle and two over the back axle — a configuration Audi says will make it to production.
With a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery between the axles and under the floor, the e-tron Sportback has a low center of gravity. Another benefit of the setup is that it gives a 52:48 (front:back) weight distribution, allowing for great handling.
Despite the performance, the e-tron Sportback is still able to go 310 miles on a charge (according to the more generous European driving cycle) and is bedecked with all the futuristic finery one could hope for inside.
A wide array of touch-sensitive screens on the dash, the center console, and even in the door trim allow for gobs of information to be given and Audi has worked on making the controls as simple and intuitive as possible.
Outside, the new e-tron concept is blessed with Audi’s distinctive sportback styling, as well as an octagonal grille. With little need for air because it doesn’t have any combustion engines, though, the grille is mostly there to make this fit in with its Audi brethren. Other exterior details include 23-inch 6-spoke wheels, full LED lights, and wide wheel arches.
As mentioned, the road-going vehicle based on the e-tron Sportback Concept will arrive in 2019, following the road-going SUV based on the e-tron Quattro Concept. Audi expects this concept to be an important vehicle in future, especially in China, where the brand has struggled recently.
“We have made a conscious decision to give the Audi e-tron Sportback its first showing here in Shanghai, because China is the world’s leading market for electric automobiles,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, marketing and sales chief, in a statement. “We are well equipped for this rapid growth. In the next five years, we will be offering five e-tron models in China, including purely battery-powered vehicles with ranges well in excess of 500 kilometers (310.7 miles) such as the Audi e-tron Sportback.”