2020 Audi E-tron Sportback rakes the roof at the LA Auto Show

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November 21, 2019 09:00 AM

2020 Audi E-tron Sportback rakes the roof at the LA Auto Show

Sportback chops some headroom out of the E-tron but keeps the 355-hp, 414-lb-ft powertrain.

Jake Lingeman

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The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback loses about 7 cubic feet of cargo space compared to the E-tron SUV.

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback is officially here at the LA Auto Show, and though we won’t get the trick Digital Matrix LED headlights we talked about yesterday, there’s still plenty to see in this new battery electric vehicle, starting with the look.
Like we said yesterday, the E-tron Sportback is the same length and width as the E-tron crossover, but the roof is chopped into a fastback style, which does cost a little cargo space (6.8 cubic feet, to be exact). It gets the same, mostly blocked-off, octagonal grille. Big side sills elevate toward the rear, which features a wide diffuser, which Audi says draws attention to the absence of tailpipes. A light strip connects the LED taillights. The Sportback will offer a choice of 13 paint finishes, including plasma blue metallic, which is exclusive to this car. The charging flap gets orange trim, as do the brake calipers when specified. Twenty-inch wheels are standard; bigger wheels are optional.

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi is launching the e-tron Sportback with optional advanced Digital Matrix LED headlamps.

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The system only works above 37 mph (60 km/h) right now. And that’s fine with us.

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European models that have these headlamps will be able to choose between five “welcome home” animations.

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Imagine a future where an autonomous Audi could project a message onto the pavement indicating an intention for the rest of the automotive environment to see.

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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“We’re an innovation company and we’re extremely focused on lighting technologies,” says Greave. “As we get further into the autonomous driving world, where vehicles will need to communicate, we anticipate this technology will play a large role.”

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi says the slick new bodyshell drops the coefficient of drag from .27 in the conventional e-tron to .25 in the Sportback.

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Beneath the slippery new skin, the mechanicals are identical to the conventional e-tron.

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Audi shrunk the e-tron crossover into a sportier Sportback

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Get too close to another car and the system temporarily shuts off for safety. Similarly, as you drive over a blind crest, it switches off to save other drivers from being flashed.

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The level of brightness is actually created by layering the high beams over the low beams.

Like the E-tron crossover, the Sportback 55 gets two electric motors, one on each axle, delivering 355 hp and 414 lb-ft of torque. In S driving mode, “boost” mode can be activated, bringing eight-second bursts of 402 hp and 490 lb-ft. That gives this car a sprint time of 5.7 seconds to 60 mph. According to Audi, in most driving situations the Sportback is rear-wheel drive, but when needed, the front motor can kick in instantly. This can happen predictively in slippery conditions, or when over- or understeer is detected. With the batteries fitted as a wide, flat block, and the motors on each axle, the E-tron Sportback has a nearly 50:50 weight balance.
Range is specified as 277 miles on a charge in the WLTP cycle, but that testing cycle is generous, so expect the Sportback to get less official range here with the EPA’s test procedure. Air suspension is standard—varying with the drive modes—lowering the car up to 3 inches at speed.
Audi says the during normal braking, up to 0.3 g, the high-voltage battery is charged by the motors, mostly the rear, and when coasting the rate of regen can be adjusted via steering wheel paddles. “Overall, the SUV‑coupé attains up to 30 percent of its range through recuperation,” says Audi.
There are four separate circuits for cooling, which not only enables rapid DC charging, it also lengthens battery life and allows repeatable performance under heavy loads. At a 150-kW fast charger, the Sportback 55 can reach 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

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Robin Warner

The 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback has an electric motor on each axle and a flat battery pack in between.

Under the front trunk, aka frunk, of the Sportback 55, buyers get 2.1 cubic feet of storage, enough for a backpack; the cargo area in back features 21.7 cubic feet, which can be increased to 58.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Rear seat occupants only lose about an inch of headroom compared to the standard E-tron.
In the front seat, the Sportback will look a lot like the E-tron crossover/SUV with two touchscreens, a giant handrest/gear selector, drive mode buttons and perforated leather. There are a few choices for seats and contrasting stitching while ambient lights are optional. A Bang & Olufsen sound system is also optional, but Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit is standard. That’s in place of analog gauges and can be set to display map directions, range, charging status and a host of other information.
As for safety tech, the E-tron Sportback has a ton of it, including rear cross traffic assist, Audi presense 360, lane keeping assist and forward collision warning. There’s more: adaptive cruise, collision avoidance assist and emergency assist, as well as night vision, park assist and 360-degree camera. The Sportback, like the E-tron, uses data from navigation, five radar sensors, five cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to operate all of these safety systems. We don’t know what will be standard and what will be optional here in the U.S., as Audi hasn’t decided yet.
The Audi E-tron Sportback goes on sale in the middle of next year, and we’ll get full equipment details, as well as pricing, closer to launch.

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/los-angeles-auto-show/2020-audi-e-tron-sportback-rakes-roof-la-auto-show

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