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The new Audi e-tron Sportback! All you need to know

In a nutshell:

  • New Audi e-tron Sportback officially revealed, with prices starting at £79,900.
  • Based on the e-tron SUV, the Sportback is Audi’s second-ever all-electric car to hit the UK.
  • Range of up to 241 miles between charges.
  • And significant power, with 0-62mph times of just 5.7 seconds.

After months of anticipation, Audi has finally thrown the sheets off its new all-electric e-tron Sportback - a coupe-inspired version of their existing e-tron SUV.

With bags of power and performance, and with the Sportback reaching 62mph from a standstill in just 5.7 seconds, it’s a significant step in Audi’s march towards electrification.

When Audi first revealed the regular e-tron on which the Sportback is based back in 2018, it represented the firm’s first ever all-electric car to hit the UK market.

The e-tron Sportback is, then, only the second Audi to rely purely on battery power.

But the Germany purveyors of luxury vehicles have big plans in that respect - promising to add 20 all-electric cars to the line-up by 2025.  

And with a heady mix of precision engineering, luxury interior and - crucially - a usable range from the battery of up to 241 miles, it’s an attractive package.

Audi UK Director Andrew Doyle tells us: “The original e-tron was cleverly conceived because it delivered transformative technology to Audi customers in a familiar, friendly form that they could easily get on board with.

“Now the SUV has proved that electrified Audi models with all their environmental and efficiency benefits can be comfortably accommodated in everyday life in return for very little compromise versus their ICE counterparts, the time is right for the Sportback to offer a slightly bolder take on the concept.”

So far Audi has announced two different variations of the Sportback.

The first model, and which is the only one you can currently order, is the ‘55 quattro’, which features a 95kWh battery, peak electrical output of 300kW and range capability of up to 241 miles on the WLTP cycle.

The battery is linked to two asynchronous electric motors – one per axle – giving a combined output of 265 kW and 561 Nm of torque, giving owners a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds.

However, owners can also access a ‘boost’ mode - which unleashes the full 300 kW of output and 664 Nm of torque from the battery for short eight second bursts.

And that means the Sportback can hit 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds if you really want to push it.

Besides the 55 quattro, a ‘50 quattro’ model is also due to be made available this autumn, which features a smaller 71kWh battery and reduced 230kW output.

As you might expect, the Sportback sits lower to the road than the e-tron SUV and has a more dynamic adaptive air suspension set up.  

In most driving situations, the bulk of power comes from the rear electric motor, but grunt is channelled to the front wheels automatically when you need it most.

When sensors detect oversteer or understeer, torque is cleverly regulated to keep you rubber side down.

In terms of trim specification, the base package is the ‘S line’, which features privacy glass, 21 inch rims and Matrix LED headlamps as standard.

Inside the cabin the S line there’s the Audi Virtual Cockpit, a touch-screen ‘MMI Touch’ infotainment system with dual monitors, wireless smartphone integration and Audi Phone Box wireless handset charging.

Audi is also quick to point out that the tapering roofline only reduces headroom in the rear by 20mm compared with the front.

Moving up a rung in the trim levels you reach the ‘Launch Edition’, priced from £85,900 and which boasts different 21-inch alloy wheels, lots of black detailing on the exterior and interior, and a full-length panoramic sunroof.

There’s also a host of driver assistance tech at this level, too, including a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise assist and the ‘predictive efficiency assistant’, which tells you if you’re driving in a ‘charge-conscious’ manner.

Topping the pile is the ‘Vorsprung’, priced from £95,100. Here you get to enjoy 22-inch matt titanium alloys, powered door closure, heated steering wheel, Bang & Olufsen audio system and diamond-stitched super sport seats.

When using a DC fast charge station, you can get the battery back to 80 per cent charge in just 30 minutes.

But when using a home wall box, you’ll need around 14 hours to restore a totally depleted 55 quattro to a full charge, or around 10.5 hours to bring the 50 quattro version back up to speed.

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Monday, 04/10/2021