Audi is currently looking to expand its electric lineup, as it’s been one of the last premium brands to the party. While rivals BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla all have created more than one EV by now, Audi has yet to do a single pure BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). The brand does have the A3 e-tron and Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrids but those aren’t technically EVs and only the former is available in North America. So Audi seriously needs to play catch-up to its premium rivals. Audi already has one pure BEV in the works, the Audi e-tron, which will begin production in Brussels next year. However, the Audi e-tron Sportback, the brand’s second EV, will begin production in the same Brussels plant the following year, 2019, to add to the repertoire.
“With the decision on the Audi e-tron Sportback, we are showing that Audi takes the issue of electric mobility seriously. A second battery-electric model will lead to optimal capacity utilization at our plant in Brussels,” Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, Member of the Board of Management for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG.
The Audi e-tron Sportback will be a four-door gran turismo with a 320-kilowatt electric drive system. We’ve already seen quite a lot of the e-tron Sportback in concept render form but we’ll get to see more of it as production looks closer. The concept was unveiled in the flesh at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show already but expect to see a more production ready version next year.
Audi is being quite smart with its new EVs, though. By the time the Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback debut, the technology will be there for those two cars to provide plenty of range for everyday driving. Plus, Audi is using SUVs and four-door liftbacks, more practical variants, which are the most commonly purchased kinds of cars on the market. So these EVs will not only appeal to the techno-philes but also families. Also, the larger cars give Audi larger platforms to work with and more space for batteries.
We’re quite excited about the Audi e-tron Sportback, more so than the standard e-tron SUV, thanks to its sportier design and dynamics.