Electric SUV Coupé packed with advanced technology
Hard on the heels of the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV comes
this variant, the e-tron Sportback 55.
Its aerodynamic shape gives an extra few miles of range as well as head-turning looks.
The new e-tron Sportback 55 is an elegant four-door coupe, and its drag coefficient of 0.25Cd yields an extra 6.2 miles of range compared with its more upright e-tron SUV sibling. Inside, the sloping roofline slightly reduces rear headroom (by 20mm) and its 615 litres of luggage space is 45 litres less than Audi’s electric SUV provides, but you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. UK models start with the S Line specification which includes 21-inch alloy wheels and body colour wheel arches and sills. The strongly contoured front spoiler and air inlets add another sporty touch, as does the full-width rear diffuser.
The e-tron Sportback 55 is the most powerful model and the only one to be offered in the UK. Its front and rear electric motors can deliver a combined 355bhp and 265Nm of torque, with an eight-second boost mode increasing this to 402bhp and 664Nm of torque for a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds. To save energy in part-throttle running or at a cruise the front motor disconnects for rear-drive operation. This can revert to all-wheel drive in a fraction of a second if the driver accelerates forcefully or if the system detects a loss of traction. The e-tron Sportback 55 offers 240 miles of range between charges, and if you’re able to find a 150kW fast-charging station, it can take on an 80% charge in under half an hour.
Like the petrol- and diesel-powered Audi models, the e-tron Sportback presents the driver with Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrumentation, as well as a further two infotainment screens mounted centrally in the console. The upper 12.1-inch display controls infotainment, telephony, navigation and dedicated e-tron settings. The lower 8.6-inch screen is dedicated to climate, text input and convenience functions. Control is either via touch with haptic feedback or via the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. MMI Navigation Plus also comes as standard and the top-specification models also have a Wi-Fi hotspot via the LTE Advanced high-speed data standard. The most eye-catching piece of advanced technology come in the form of the digital matrix LED headlights, each of which contains 1.2m fast-reacting micro-mirrors to illuminate the road ahead without dazzling oncoming vehicles. They even project animations to greet you as you approach.
The Audi pre-sense basic and pre-sense front systems are fitted as standard on the e-tron Sportback, with the further option of the City Assist package. This includes intersection assist, rear cross-traffic assist, lane change and exit warnings. Another option, the Tour package, includes adaptive cruise assist which can brake, accelerate and make minor steering corrections to maintain a safe cruise in motorway traffic. Other Tour features include turn assist, collision avoidance assist and emergency assist.
Verdict: the e-revolution gathers pace at Audi with this great-looking four-door electric coupé. Some SUV-coupés can look a little lumpish, but the e-tron Sportback is well-proportioned while offering almost the same levels of interior load space as the e-tron SUV. As a further dividend, that slippery coupé shape gives an extra 6.2 miles from the same charge. Form follows function?
The e-tron Sportback is available in different versions, known as trim levels. These allow you to choose a version that reflects your preferred styling, driving experience and equipment level. Standard equipment and the choice of options both vary by trim.