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Audi E-Tron Sportback launches this summer with $77,400 price tag

The coupe-like SUV chops the standard E-Tron's top a bit and returns a slightly better range estimate, too.

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Audi's second electric car is nearly here.

Audi

Thursday brought a surprise from Audi as the German brand revealed its second electric car, the E-Tron Sportback, will hit the US this summer.

Consider the E-Tron Sportback the standard E-Tron SUV's sportier brother with a sleeker roofline, but with mostly the same looks overall. What buyers will get when opting for the Sportback model is a little extra range from the 95 kilowatt-hour battery. Audi squeezed an extra 14 miles of range out of the battery for a total of 218 miles, according to EPA estimates. The standard E-Tron SUV will go an EPA-estimated 204 miles.

The extra range comes from more usable battery capacity. Compared to the E-Tron, the E-Tron Sportback can use 86.5 kWh (91%) of its battery to power the electric motors. The E-Tron Sportback also nabs a few other updates to make it more efficient. The front motor can decouple from the powertrain when it's not needed to create less drag to essentially create on-demand all-wheel drive, and the hydraulic brakes' design creates a more efficient package. Basically a lot of little things add up for a bigger change.

Audi rolled these updates out to the standard E-Tron in Europe, but told Roadshow last year the update wasn't yet confirmed for US models. With the extra capacity present in the coupe-like model, it seems silly not to include them with the regular E-Tron. 

The E-Tron Sportback packs two electric motors -- just like its more upright brother -- for a total of 355 horsepower. Peak output is 402 hp when the driver engages Boost Mode, which unlocks every last pony for eight seconds. With a 150-kilowatt charger, drivers will add about 58 miles of range in 10 minutes, or 174 miles in 30 minutes. Charging the E-Tron Sportback on a standard home outlet, like any EV, will be terrible, so it's best to have a fast charger nearby.

Audi said the E-Tron Sportback will boast some looks unique to the US with body-color exterior trim, but there will also be a Black Optic package to finish the elements in black, too. Big 20-inch wheels are standard, as is an air suspension. Inside, lots of premium goods are also standard, such as heated and ventilated seats, the latest MMI Touch infotainment system and more. If you love the E-Tron's cabin, the E-Tron Sportback will make you feel right at home with an identical design.

Americans will also receive a model unique to the US in the Edition One launch edition. Each car will don a Plasma Blue exterior color with orange brake calipers and the S-Line package will be standard to race up the exterior. A gray leather interior will also be unique to the model, complete with a black headliner.

The E-Tron Sportback's sleeker looks will set buyers back an extra $2,600 when comparing it to the standard E-Tron, making the cheapest model $77,400 before a destination charge. Both electric SUVs also qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit as well. For those wanting a hotter Audi EV, do know the company has a hotter E-Tron S Sportback in the pipeline.

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