the AUDI e-tron sportback debuts as company’s second electric car

by Larry Read

the new AUDI e-tron sportback made its debut at the 2019 LA auto show, launched as the company’s second electric car. it uses largely identical hardware to the e-tron SUV, which was revealed last year, packing the same 95 kWh battery with a few new features and specs.

slated for a 2020 europe release, the dynamic SUV coupé offers up to 277 miles of range and uses dual electric motors with an output of 265 kW and a combined peak of 355 horsepower. a slightly less powerful version of the sportback with a smaller battery will also be available, starting at €71,350 (around $79,000).

its roof extends flat over the muscular body, dropping down steeply to the rear and flowing into the steeply raked D-pillars. the lower edge of the third side window rises towards the rear—a typical sportback feature.

inside, the driver can activate functions using voice controls and amazon alexa is built in. there is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, a 12.1-inch main touchscreen in the dashboard, and another 8.6-inch touchscreen below that for text input and climate controls.

digital matrix LED headlights are a new feature, available for the first time in a mass-production vehicle. their light is broken down into tiny pixels and can be controlled with exceptional precision. this makes safe lane-centring easier on narrow stretches of road and shows the position of the vehicle in the lane.

AUDI will begin taking preorders starting at the end of this month, november 2019. the first deliveries are expected in europe beginning in march 2020, with the sportback reaching north american shores near the end of summer 2020. pricing is yet to be confirmed for the latter.

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