There is no use escaping the swoopy-coupe-roof crossover. It has already claimed many, and it will come for you, and your family. No one is safe. OK, fine, if that's what you're into, you can ignore the doom and gloom.
The E-Tron Sportback concept is the second part of a three-part mission to get Audi electric vehicles on the road by the end of the decade. The first part, the E-Tron Quattro concept that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, is slated to enter production in 2018. This concept hopes to hit the factory floor one year later, in 2019.
The E-Tron Sportback looks quite similar to the Quattro concept, except for one big design change -- the rear end. It's sporting a coupe-like roof, a trend popularized by the BMW X6, GLE-Class Coupe and other silly crossovers. It's proven popular enough that a number of luxury automakers are offering both traditional and "coupe" crossover variants. Audi is a bit late to the party, but it's still within the realm of being fashionably late.
Inside, the E-Tron Sportback gives us an idea of what to expect from future Audis. The gauge cluster is a screen, there's a second screen acting as an infotainment system and just below that is a third screen that controls HVAC and other settings. There's also a fourth screen that can give the passenger relevant information near the airbag. It's nearly devoid of physical switches, which is still a love-it-or-hate-it thing with most folks.
Audi E-tron Sportback concept is coming soon to a road near youSee all photos
Oh, wait. You thought it ended with four screens? Nope! Both rear passengers also get their own touch-capable displays built into the door panels, which can be used for both infotainment and HVAC duty. The displays can also show what the side-view mirrors are seeing, to prevent a door from opening at the wrong time.
Under the body, there are three electric motors -- two in the back, and one in the front. They combine for a power output of 496 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque, enough to shove the concept to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds. The car is capable of using the nav system to whip up a strategy for maximum energy recuperation via brake regeneration.
Its 95-kWh battery is said to provide a range of about 311 miles on the European NEDC cycle -- it'll be a bit lower using US standards. It can accept a charge up to 150 kW, more than Tesla's Supercharger, adding nearly 250 miles of range in 30 minutes or so. The concept is also able to charge via wireless induction using an Audi charging pad in a parking spot.
Sounds like a lot to process, right? Well, it is. Thankfully, you've got two more years to work through it all -- provided it comes to market exactly like this, which it probably won't, since concept cars rarely take cost-cutting measures into account.