Prices will start at $70,000, which could also make it a worthy rival to the Tesla Model X.
At last month’s Shanghai Auto Show, Audi unveiled the e-Tron Sportback Concept, an electric coupe-style crossover set to rival the Jaguar I-Pace. Essentially, it represented Audi’s vision of what its customers will be driving in the future to meet the rapidly rising demand for crossovers and EVs. According to Automotive News, executives have now confirmed that the production version of the e-tron Sportback will be arriving in the US in 2019. Yes, that’s one year after the Jaguar I-Pace, which is already playing catch-up with the Tesla Model X.
The production model will be based on Audi’s heavily modified MLB Evo architecture, which is shared with the A4, A5, Q5, and Q7. A variety of electric powertrain options will be available with the range-topping model producing 500 horsepower, positioning the e-tron Sportback as a high-performance, premium electric SUV. This makes it similar to the 496-hp concept model previewed at Shanghai, which also means it should be capable of hitting 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds. While we expected the production model to look more conventional than the concept, Autonews reports that the concept’s styling “closely reflects the upcoming production car.”
Like the concept, the production model will be equipped with an abundance of futuristic technology including exterior cameras OLED interior screens replacing the conventional rearview mirrors. Prices will start at around $70,000. That's around $20,000 more than an entry-level Q7, but about the same as the Tesla Model X which starts at $74,000. While the e-tron Sportback won't be ready until 2019, Audi will be relying on the e-Tron quattro to go head-to-head with the Jaguar I-Pace in 2018, a similarly sized crossover with a more conventional roofline and a slightly more spacious interior. It was first previewed by the e-tron Quattro Concept in 2015, but will look similar to the e-Tron Sportback.