e-tron Sportback concept previews Audi electric car coming in 2019

Audi has revealed the new e-tron Sportback concept ahead of its debut on Wednesday at the 2017 Shanghai auto show.

The concept previews an electric car to join the Audi lineup in 2019, one year after the automaker introduces its e-tron electric SUV. You can think of the car as being a more coupe-like alternative to the e-tron.

The e-tron Sportback concept is distinguished by its sloping roof and liftback rear. The roof also sits much than on the e-tron Quattro concept from 2015, which previews the upcoming e-tron.

Mechanically, the two vehicles are very similar. They both use the Volkswagen Group’s C-BEV electric car platform with one motor mounted to the front axle and two at the rear, creating an all-wheel-drive system. Peak output is 430 horsepower, though this can be momentarily boosted to 496 hp to provide a fitting level of propulsion, with the sprint from 0-62 mph a done deal in just 4.5 seconds. The top speed is limited to 130 mph.

A 95-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery from Korean firms LG Chem and Samsung SDI is positioned between the axles and below the passenger compartment, helping to lower the center of gravity and provide better balance. Audi promises a range of 310 miles for the European cycle which produces longer range ratings than our own EPA tests. A reasonable rating for the United States might be closer to 240 miles.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has promised three electric cars by the end of 2020. The third is expected to be a compact using the VW Group’s MEB platform for compact electric cars. VW is also showing an electric car concept based on the MEB platform in Shanghai.

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