Audi Responds to the Mustang Mach-E with the e-tron Sportback

At the Los Angeles Auto Show Audi revealed the coupé version of their e-tron SUV. It’ll come with 277 miles of range and starts at $79,000.

Audi’s latest model in their push to introduce 30 new EVs to their model lineup is the e-tron Sportback, a “coupé” version of the e-tron SUV that launched earlier this year. Despite its name, the e-tron Sportback is not an actual coupé, but rather an SUV with coupé qualities. This news comes just mere days after the release of the Mustang Mach-E, an obvious coincidence, but it doesn’t mean the two won’t be competing for the same buyers.

Same as its full-size SUV sister, the e-tron Sportback comes with a battery pack that can store 95 kWh of gross energy which allows a range just below 280 miles. The Sportback gets 335 electrical horses sending power to all four wheels which gets the coupé from 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds—an average speed for its size. But if you really want to feel all that electrical power, you can flip a switch to change the range mode that’ll allow for a much quicker time of 5.7 seconds.

While the e-tron Sportback certainly slacks in performance when compared to the Mach-E, don’t worry about that now. Audi will most likely be releasing a performance version of this car, and that car will certainly be enough to make potential Mach-E buyers think twice.

Ever at the forefront of technological innovation, Audi packed tons of futuristic tech in the Sportback, like the fact that it uses cameras and screens on the doors as side mirrors, rather than actual mirrors. Coolest by far are the digital matrix LED headlights that’ll come standard on the Sportback. These headlights can project animations on walls or on the road, create a “carpet of light” that can light up an entire road lane, and will even focus more light on pedestrians if the car senses any.

So, that’s the Audi e-tron Sportback. It’ll arrive in the US in fall 2020 and will cost $79,000. At a much higher cost with less performance, the current Sportback won’t present too much threat to the Mach-E, but there should be a higher performance version coming eventually. It’s a brave new world when performance electric SUVs are the go-to comparison model between companies.

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