Audi pulls covers from all-new e-tron Sportback
The new model will become Audi’s second dedicated EV offering, arriving in showrooms as a five-door liftback.For the concept at least, power comes from a 370kW electric motor offering up to 500km of range between charges. When the electric juice runs low, the battery pack can be replenished using wireless recharging.
It’s the same electric driveline, sharing the same lithium-ion battery technology and based on the same electric car platform as the earlier e-tron quattro concept that is set to see production in 2018. The e-tron Sportback has been conceived to rival upcoming production versions of the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQ SUV and well as a long rumoured crossover model from BMW’s i brand expected to see showrooms early next decade.
The new four-seat concept, similar in many respects to parent company Volkswagen’s new I.D. Crozz concept also unveiled at 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, combines the sweeping lines of a contemporary styled liftback with the wide track stance of a modern day SUV. It creates what Audi describes as a new class of car aimed at attracting buyers who may have opted for a luxury car in the mould of the A7, but seek a more commanding view of the road.
The new Audi concept sports distinctive design cues aimed at providing it with a sleek yet muscular appearance. Its electric drivetrain eliminates the need for a traditional grille and cooling ducts up front. But Audi design boss Marc Lichte has nevertheless provided the e-tron Sportback with a familiar single frame grille graphic as part of a blackened mask, together with a large duct in the bonnet to extract hot air from the front mounted electric motor.
Ingolstadt’s latest concept uses what Audi describes as next-generation digital lighting technology that features matrix LED high beam projectors boasting 1.2 million pixels. It also introduces new day running lights that project their light onto the new concept’s bodywork and double up as scrolling indicators. They’re accompanied by matrix laser projectors located underneath the front and rear bumpers that project turn signals onto the road.