No need to dig into the specifications of both models, the Sportback is a copy and paste of the original Audi e-tron. At least on paper. The main evolution is aesthetic and, for once, it is obvious.
The very classic design of last year’s SUV gives way to a coupé model with tapered lines and a very deep back. Impressive in size, Audi’s latest SUV still exudes a very sporty look and is the manufacturer’s first achievement with the rings. But where the Sportback has its best point, is that this more dynamic design also has an impact on the performance of the car and in particular its range.
More style for more autonomy
Indeed, the plunging back is not just a designer fad. Combined with the movable flap singleframe grille, slightly modified front apron and small spoiler at the rear, it helps improve the car’s aerodynamics.
The consequence: the drag coefficient, which was 0.28 on thee-tron, drops to 0.25 on the Sportback. In fact, the range of the coupe version is 10 km longer than the classic version. With 446 km (WLTP) announced, the Audi SUV is in the good average of its range, only exceeded by the Tesla Model X (507 km in Long Range version).
Above all, the e-tron has a DC charging capacity of up to 150 kW, which recovers 80% of the battery in less than 30 minutes and which allows it to consider longer journeys.
During our test, we covered some 200 km on Parisian roads, the Autobahn and the small departmental roads of Véxin. By adopting a smooth ride and allowing ourselves a few sensations under acceleration, our average consumption was 23 kW / 100 km, slightly above the figures given by Audi. It is therefore safe to think that the 446 km can be achieved with particularly environmentally friendly driving, if that expression makes sense when you are in a huge 2.5-ton SUV.
Inside, Audi also took advantage of this year to make some minor changes. Not so much on the on-board environment, Audi MMI is still in the game with some substantial improvements, but on overall comfort.
Indeed, on this Sportback, the transmission tunnel has been completely removed which frees up space in the center of the column, for some storage, and especially at the rear to tend as much as possible towards a flat floor (there is another 2 cm extra thickness) and save space at the feet of the passengers.
Digital Matrix LED: more than a gadget
The other major new addition to the e-tron are the Digital Matrix LED lights. This is a world first in a production vehicle and it is one of the technologies that Audi intends to use throughout its range, with, of course, an additional check for 1,750 euros.
This new generation of headlights contains a million micro mirrors capable of performing 5,000 movements per second. But concretely what is their use?
In fact, these LED matrix headlights obviously make it possible to illuminate better and more precisely, but also to project animations on the ground or on a wall. In a garage, this translates into a rather gimmicky welcome message that will undoubtedly heal the owner’s ego but not be a game-changer.
On the other hand, on the road, the Digital Matrix Led has concrete applications and even brings new functionalities. Thus, the headlights are able not only to project the path to follow on the road (taking into account the spacing and the markings on the ground) but they can also detect a pedestrian or an animal on the side and signal it to the driver. . They are also able to more accurately illuminate road signs or the contours of the car ahead, always avoiding dazzling passers-by and other drivers.
The best of e-tron
What about the performance behind the wheel of this e-tron? They do not change particularly from the model released last year. And for good reason, the technical characteristics are almost identical to the classic version of the e-tron with a power of 408 hp and 664 Nm of torque. To get a precise idea of the sensations aboard Audi’s 100% electric SUV, we invite you to read our test carried out after a week of daily use.
The first e-tron in the name wasn’t particularly known for its aggressive pricing. His successor is not going to revolutionize the German tariff schedule. Audi’s new electric SUV is not for everyone. The entry ticket starts at 74,900 euros for the 50 Quattro version and 86,480 euros for the 55 Quattro version.
It goes without saying, but at this price level, it is not necessary to take the steps to obtain the ecological bonus of 7000 euros … As for our test version, equipped with many options, its price exceeds 118,000 euros.
The best-selling electric SUV in Europe, the e-tron is already a successful bet for Audi. This Sportback version could be a game-changer as it is more beautiful and more efficient than the classic version.
The Sportback is the best e-tron on the market. But for how long ? The Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback scheduled for next year should offer fairly similar performance and possibly a less traumatic purchase price.