Audi has officially launched its second all-electric vehicle in the US — the e-tron Sportback — and it seems like the better deal among the two. Both it and its standard e-tron SUV sibling are mid-size, purely battery-electric SUVs with extremely luxurious interiors and similar price tags. However, the Sportback’s styling and supposedly ever-so-slightly more engaging driving dynamics might make it worth the slight price bump over its more traditional looking sibling.
In the US market, the Audi e-tron Sportback will start at $77,400, which is a $3,400 price increase over the standard e-tron SUV. Sure, it’s a bit less practical, thanks to its more aggressively raked roofline, but its added sense of style and driving dynamics which are said to be slightly improved (we haven’t driven it yet, so we can’t comment) likely make it worth the extra money.
The biggest knock against the standard e-tron is that it seems a bit too pedestrian. We know that Audi was going for that, as it wanted the e-tron to be a luxury Audi SUV first and an EV second so it could attract traditional customers, but it might have taken it too far. There’s no character to the standard e-tron. However, it’s new style might make the Audi e-tron Sportback a bit more enjoyable to actually own.
Under the skin, the two cars are nearly identical. They’re both built on the same chassis, both have the same 95 kWh battery pack, both have 355 hp with a 402 hp overboost, they’re both as heavy as a medium-sized sun and neither are particularly quick, getting from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. However, at the moment, the Sportback model has a slight advantage of having 218 miles of range, compared to the 204 miles of the standard car. Though, it must be said that the standard car will be getting an update to match.
Interestingly enough, the US market e-tron Sportback will be getting a limited-run Launch Edition model for its first customers. Those who opt for the limited-edition car get an exclusive Plasma Blue Metallic exterior color with Dynamic Orange brake calipers, an S-Line exterior package and Monaco Grey leather inside. While most “launch edition” cars are usually pointless, that exclusive color scheme actually seems surprisingly awesome.
We’re quite excited to drive the Audi e-tron Sportback, actually. We’ve driven the standard car and liked it quite a bit; sure it’s boring but it’s a great luxury car and its EV tech is very impressive. So if the Sportback version is essentially the same, just with more style, it’s good enough for us.