It’s often easy to tell an electric vehicle from its gasoline/diesel-powered counterparts. More often than not, they have unique styling cues that easily give them away. However, Audi’s latest electric vehicle, the E-Tron Sportback, looks nothing like the production model EVs we know today. Instead, it looks more a part of Audi's current (and regular) crossover lineup.
As the name implies, the E-Tron Sportback is essentially a sportier and more stylish version of Audi’s E-Tron crossover. It uses the same dual-motor setup and battery pack found in the standard crossover version which produces 402-horsepower and 561 Nm of torque. However, Audi has managed to bump up the range of the E-Tron Sportback to 446 kilometers from a single battery charge. This is an increase of 35 kilometers over the standard E-Tron.
The increased range doesn’t stem from improved battery technology alone. Audi claims Sportback owners can cover more distance versus the standard model due to its sleek shape. The sloping coupe-like design is said to be more aerodynamic, which accounts for a part of the range increase. Aside from increasing range, it also made the Sportback look, well, sportier and more stylish. In exchange for the coupe-like design, though, the Sportback does sacrifice rear cargo space.
Aside from the new look, the coolest feature of the E-Tron Sportback would be the Digital Matrix LED headlights. For those wondering, the headlights aren't optional units. Instead, they come standard on the Sportback. According to Audi, the new LED headlights can “illuminate the road in high resolution”. The working behind Audi’s unique headlight it is a bit complicated. However, the result is that headlights can illuminate specific sections of the road when needed. At the same time, it can also project various images onto the road. Light can also be blocked on one side so that opposing drivers won’t be blinded.
Other notable features of the Sportback include optional virtual side mirrors replacing regular mirrors with cameras. Rather than checking the mirrors, drivers will check small displays positioned between the door and instrument panels instead. The mirrors can also automatically adjust to different situations such as turning sharp corners or reversing.
The new E-Tron Sportback is set to debut in Europe next year and will be offered with a limited Edition One variant.