Audi has confirmed that the e-tron Sportback will become the German prestige brand’s second electric vehicle just weeks after announcing its first EV, the e-tron.
To be built alongside the e-tron in Belgium, the e-tron Sportback will be positioned as a sleeker, more stylish stablemate to the more upright e-tron.
The news follows Audi chairman, Rupert Stadler’s, recent announcement that Audi has more EVs on the way. The speed of the announcement shows Audi’s commitment to electric vehicles in the wake of the Volkswagen Group's diesel emissions scandal.
The final design of the e-tron Sportback is expected to follow the lead set by the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show concept of the same name. The fastback SUV will sit below the regular e-tron with the two electric SUVs sharing their electric drivetrain.
The e-tron Sportback will arrive with a potential 400-500km range from its lithium ion battery pack, with a maximum 370kW output from its three-motor electric drivetrain.
"With the decision on the Audi e-tron Sportback, we are showing that Audi takes the issue of electric mobility seriously," said Hubert Waltl, Audi's board member in charge of production and logistics. "A second battery-electric model will lead to optimal capacity utilization at our plant in Brussels."
Audi isn’t alone in its move to electrification, other prestige brands including Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and BMW all preparing to bring electric SUVs to market by 2019.
Mercedes-Benz will launch its EQ sub-brand having shown its first concept at last year’s Paris Motor Show, while the I-Pace made its debut at an event in LA last year - both are expected to by joined by additional EV offerings following their respective launches, while Audi has a further two confirmed but as-yet unnamed EVs in development.
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