E-tron Sportback: Audi's 'answer to Tesla' unveiled

Isaac Cain
April 20, 2017

The all-electric model, the automaker says, previews a production model slated for 2019. That model will begin production at an Audi plant in Belgium next year.

The upcoming e-tron Sportback concept which is supposed to have an official reveal at Shanghai auto show is revealed by the company.

Audi's design characteristics have been tailored for this EV application, including a false grille with air channels above and below its facade.

In its consciously light-coloured interior the Audi e-tron Sportback concept offers a blend of functional clarity and reductive controls as a formal principle.

Audi's advanced, multi-tier front lighting system can shine patterns, graphics and characters on the road, providing many display and communication possibilities. The Audi logo is illuminated by LEDs as well. Total output is 429 horsepower, although that number can jump to 496 in "boost" mode.

That means this second concept probably packs a drivetrain similar to the E-tron Quattro, which promised a 95-kWh battery and three electric motors providing a range of about 310 miles.

This is quite significant as just the other day I was writing about the Chevy Bolt and its 240-mile range and its exceptional positioning in the market right now. It gets large 23-inch wheels in a technical 6-spoke design and the front end displays the familiar octagonal Singleframe.

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But under the skin, it bears a closer resemblance to an American - the Tesla Model X. Audi e-tron quattro concept is expected to become a reality in 2018. At this point of time, there is not much information available about the upcoming concept but, we might get to know more about the vehicle at the Shanghai Auto Show 2017.

The lights on this electric Audi are a high-tech feast.

"In this plan we have a clear focus on e-tron cars", Dietmar Voggenreiter, a member of Audi's management board, told Reuters in an interview ahead of the Shanghai auto show which opens to the public on Friday.

The interior of the E-tron Sportback features a bunch of pretty, high-resolution touchscreens: one behind the steering wheel, two in the center console, and a few more scattered around.

As for other details, the vehicle boats a touchscreen display in the central console and some interesting lighting innovations.

Under the skin three electric motors - two mounted on the rear axle and one on the front - combine to develop 429bhp and up to 800Nm of torque.

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