At Audi they are not exactly averse to building various body styles based on a specific model. And why would that be any different for an electric vehicle? There are probably customers who would have listened to an E-tron, if it had looked a bit more exciting. Behold the E-tron Sportback: the same, but different.
In any case, the Audi performs excellently on the part loading. It can charge at 150 kW, which means that we regularly see charging speeds of more than 600 km per hour. It also takes a long time for the charging speed to decrease. What’s called: the E-tron just keeps going. At 80 percent, the speed drops to 100 kW and even at 95 percent, the DC charger fills the car with almost 50 kW. Drinking an extra cup of coffee therefore saves a few tens of kilometers. This naturally increases the employability in practice, especially for those who make longer journeys more often. Because the range is slightly above 300 kilometers in normal use. You will not often run into problems with that, especially if you charge faithfully when you park, but it is by no means groundbreaking.
Of course, it can be a lot less if you regularly use the maximum power, the E-tron has considerably more horsepower than kilometers of range. With its two electric motors, it delivers 400 hp. Incidentally, you only get it when the transmission is in S, otherwise the last part of the digital power meter will remain gray and it will reach 360 hp. Still more than enough of course, and in practice you therefore rarely use the S-mode. In any case, the E-tron’s powertrain impresses more with its refinement than with its raw power. Acceleration is very smooth and the accelerator pedal is easy to adjust, so that your passengers do not accidentally bump their head against the headrests if you demand a little more power. Also nice: the degree of recovery can be controlled with flippers behind the wheel. In principle, you naturally want to roll out with as little resistance as possible, but if the other traffic does not cooperate, you can use pinball to slow down on the electric motors and save the brake pedal for emergency. However, the delay in the strongest recuperating position is somewhat disappointing, in the sense that it is not possible to drive the E-tron completely with one pedal.
After a somewhat longer acquaintance, the E-tron appears to be one of the finest driving Audi’s in the current line-up. Everything is much more focused on comfort and in the E-Tron bumps fly under the wheels as if they don’t exist. At the same time, the car feels steady and neutral when it needs to be speeded up. The indirect steering fits well and because the E-tron does not feel that heavy in the nose, it drives more pleasantly than a Q7 with 400 hp.
Few brands can surpass the Ingolstadters when it comes to interior finish. Everything fits together beautifully, the materials are top quality and the digital elements are at the forefront of the battle for the most pixels. Incidentally, that does not automatically mean that everything is working properly. Usually the buttons on the touch screens are large enough and it all reacts super fast, but very occasionally something falters or you have to dive a little too deep into the menu structure to find an apparently simple function. These are minor annoyances. On the back seat, the Sportback is of course less generous with headroom than the normal E-tron, but you’re still in the right place here. The luggage compartment is not very quickly a limitation with 615 liters.
Our test car is an S Edition with some extra sporty decoration and an additional € 10,000 in options, bringing the price to just above the ton. Incidentally, the extra charging port is a very handy option. If you happen to be unable to approach a charger properly, you don’t have to fiddle with the charging cable as well to get it to the correct side of the pole.