Volkswagen has been making a bunch of noise about a wave of electrified products it plans to swamp the automotive market with, but it’s the parent company’s premium brand, Audi, that seems to be leading the charge, including its new Q4 e-tron Sportback.
The second all-electric model from maker, the 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback coupe hits dealer showrooms at the height of summer. It mimics the growing trend from German brand of the “coupe SUV” or four-door coupe.
The new model reportedly travels 218 miles on a charge — a modest improvement over the original e-tron — and it follows the lead of the e-tron SUV by charging at 150 kilowatts using high-speed public chargers, keeping the recharge times down and making it a practical everyday driver.
This new model does more than carry the Sportback moniker, it offers similar performance — with a premium twist. For your time on tarmac, the new EV enjoys standard adaptive air suspension with controlled dampers to ensure the premium ride experience expected from an Audi.
However, when it comes to getting out an enjoyed the world beyond pavement, the e-tron Sportback offers a towing capacity up to 4,000 pounds when equipped with an available towing package so you can bring what you need to the middle of nowhere. On top of that, it’ll get you there with ample room for five passengers and some gear.
Technically, the Sportback is essentially identical to the original e-tron SUV, two electric motors — one on each axle — producing 225 kilowatts, or 306 horsepower, combined. That will get the Sportback from 0 -100 kmh, or 62 mph, in 6.3 seconds. Top speed is limited at 112 mph. The system is rear-biased, the back motor turning out 150 kW.
The exterior design, according to Audi, was inspired by the A7. The front of the new model features contoured bumpers abutting specialized air intakes to improve air flow. At the rear, the spoiler and diffuser extend across the entire vehicle width contributing to vehicle aerodynamics. All of this aerodynamic effort means little if it doesn’t look the part.
The e-tron Sportback comes standard equipped with 20-inch wheels and air suspension. Distinct for the U.S. model, the exterior trim components come painted in the exterior body color – including the wheel arch trims, door sills, bumpers and exterior mirrors for a cohesive and sleek design.
The new Sportback keeps in line with the e-tron portfolio on the inside with standard standard heated/cooled front seats, top view camera, e-tron badging, in addition to available massage front seats, and a full suite of standard and available driver assistance systems.
For the U.S., there will be a limited-edition model available called the U.S. Launch Edition. It comes with exclusive Plasma blue metallic paint and Dynamic orange brake calipers. Alu-optic trim will highlight design elements, including the unique S-line front and rear bumpers.
Unique for the Edition One models is an exclusive interior in Monaco Gray Valcona leather seating surface with two-tone stitched dash and black headliner. Edition One puddle lamps cast a logo onto the ground beneath the driver and passenger door further differentiating it for driver and bystander.
Audi has yet to announce pricing for the Q4 e-tron Sportback. The original e-tron has an MSRP of $77,400 before delivery fees.
The e-tron and e-tron Sportback are both based on the modular MEB battery-car platform which will be used for an array of Volkswagen Group products. Audi itself is planning to have 20 electric models in production by 2025.