Audi is scheduled to release its first all-electric SUV sometime in 2018, but the automaker recently announced plans to introduce a second electric SUV in 2019. The Audi e-tron Sportback concept was unveiled earlier this year at the Shanghai Motor Show and is a preview of its second electric SUV.
Next year’s e-tron electric SUV will be a more family friendly large model with a driving range over 300 miles, but Audi expects that some buyers may want something a bit sportier. This is why a year after the original SUV goes on sale, a production version of the e-tron Sportback will arrive. Both models share the same basic architecture, but the e-tron Sportback will have a sleeker, more coupe-like profile with a more unique liftback design.
“Our Audi e-tron will be starting out in 2018 – the first electric car in its competitive field that is fit for everyday use,” according to a company spokesperson. “With a range of over 310 miles and the special electric driving experience, we will make this sporty SUV the must-have product of the next decade. Following close on its heels, in 2019, comes the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback – an emotional coupé version that is thrillingly identifiable as an electric car at the very first glance.”
The e-tron Sportback concept is powered by three electric motors. In normal driving conditions, the electric motor mounted on the front axle is responsible for keeping the SUV moving, but when the driver floors the accelerator or more traction is needed, all three electric motors work together. The system generates a total 430 horsepower, although it can be temporarily bumped up to 496 horsepower. With that much power the e-tron Sportback can reach 62 mph faster than most sports cars at only 4.5 seconds.
Recharging the e-tron Sportback is easy using the traditional charging socket in the front fender or a much more convenient contactless inductive charging system called Audi Wireless Charging. You simply park the SUV over a charging pad and the battery is recharged.
Both electric SUVs are part of Audi’s plans to have at least three electric models available by 2020. The third model will be a smaller compact EV that will share its platform with the production version of the VW I.D. concept.