The "coupe" SUV, shown at this week's Shanghai Motor Show, combines classic Audi cues with a number of trendy details resulting in a futuristic product. It anticipates, in a way, a future Audi Q6. Other concepts seen at the Chinese event have been the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz and the Skoda Vision E.
With an exterior length of 4.90 meters, a width of 1.98 meters and a height of 1.53 meters, along with a wheelbase of 2.93 meters, the E-tron Sportback is positioned as a direct rival of the BMW X6, although 17 centimeters lower. Aesthetically, the side of this prototype is reminiscent of its A5 and A7 Sportback siblings. The front keeps the Singleframe grille, characteristic of all Audi since 2003. However, renounces the classic radiator grille, as it is not necessary for electric motors so that, the large opening of the front of the vehicle, is no longer present. The headlights are located between the bonnet, front spoiler and wheel arches. The 23-inch wheels with a 6-spoke design and 285/30 tyres give the car great poise on the road.
Speaking of lighting, the backlit rings are just the tip of the iceberg. The conventional headlights are history, the Audi E-Tron Sportback has Matrix LED technology (250 diodes per headlight) and, under these, projectors that "mark" the way illuminating the road selectively. The laser projectors can emit signals, numbers or letters on the road, allowing graphic communication with the outside world. In other words, this is like a real-life Fantasy Car.
Digital Matrix Light (DML) are laser projectors with 1.3 megapixels capable of applying information on the road to communicate with other vehicles.
Inside, the Audi E-tron Sportback is all about functionality and simplified controls. All screens provide information and interact with on-board systems, with a 10-inch OLED touchscreen that controls the infotainment and navigation systems being a particular highlight. Occupants have four individual seats. The boot offers a capacity of 550 litres in its normal configuration, although with the rear seat backs folded down the storage capacity increases to 1,450 litres.
Consequently, this ultra-modern approach means there's no room for relics of the last century, such as fixed-mirror mirrors. The E-Tron Sportback uses small cameras that not only offer improved airflow and reduced aerodynamic noise, but also eliminate the physical mirror blind spot. The images relayed by the cameras can be viewed on screens located in the door trim.
Unlike other concepts, the E-Tron Sportback could never be accused of being a barking dog with little bite. Its three engines capable of up to 370 kW of combined power and 800 Nm of torque mean the car can cover 0-60 mph in just 4.5 seconds, with a limited top speed of 210 mph. Journeys will not only be fast, they will also be comfortable thanks to an adaptive air suspension (independent on each wheel) adjustable by 63 millimetres to minimise air resistance.
One electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear axle turn the E-Tron Sportback into a 435 hp Quattro with a boost function of up to 503 hp.
The usual operating mode will use only the front engine in phases of low load, but if we require more will come into action the "S" program, a sportier program where the three engines will start working simultaneously.
Through a 95 KWh lithium-ion batteries located under the floor, the range is a not inconsiderable 500 km in NEDC cycle. In practice, this range is likely to be a few kilometres less. With a 150 kW charger, direct current and half an hour of charging, you can travel up to 400 km. If you do not want to use cables does not pass anything either, Audi has prepared the E-Tron Sportback to be charged wirelessly (Audi Wireless Charging).
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, says a production version Audi E-tron Quattro is scheduled to hit the market in 2018, with the Sportback the following year.