2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback: business up front, party in the back

  • Audi's electric SUV range gets a new model
  • Like the E-Tron, but better looking and less practical 
  • Very clever headlights

Audi launched its first all-electric car in boxy, practical SUV form, and has now followed it up with a more desirable sporty coupe. The E-Tron Sportback is to the E-Tron what the Q3 Sportback or Q8 are to the Q3 and Q7 - for all intents and purposes is simply a chopped-roof version of the electric SUV.

Are you still following us? The stylish new SUV goes up against electric car rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC, plus more conventional models like the Tesla Model X.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback front, side view

Early passenger ride

We've had an early turn in the passenger seat of the E-Tron Sportback and like the other coupefied SUV in the Audi stable it features something of a firmer suspension set up.

It's not uncomfortable but certainly felt stiffer riding over tarmac defects, with less of the SUV's ability to smooth out rough roads. On the flip side it also felt composed and level when cornering, hinting at a more performance-focussed character.

Debut of Audi's Digital Matrix Lights

Also new on the Sportback is the latest version of Ingolstadt's adaptive headlights – these offer a more precise beam pattern to the existing Matrix LED system, with a few additional eye-catching features.

The system uses banks of diodes while each DML headlight features a reflective chip about the size of a fingernail containing 1.3 million microscopic mirrors. This can tilt up to 5,000 times a second, in a similar way to how a cinema projector works.

This means the light is aimed exactly where it's needed, and is much more accurate than the previous system. Plus, as a party trick, it can illuminate a carpet of light onto the motorway lane in front of you, with two lines of chevrons to show the exact width of the car including door mirrors.

Then when you reach the end of your journey one of five animations can be beamed onto your driveway or garage door for additional attention seeking flair.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback Matrix Headlights

Similar powertrain and interior options to SUV

The E-Tron Sportback will be launched in the UK with the 55 Quattro powertrain from the SUV, offering a maximum output of 408hp, 664Nm of torque.

Thanks to the more streamlined shape however the Sportback has a mildly enhanced range of 240 miles and can accelerate from 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds.

The 95kWh battery can be charged to 80% in as little as half an hour at a 150kW DC fast charger, and has an optional 22kW three phase AC charger too.

High-spec as standard

Reflecting the sportier offering the E-Tron Sportback will be launched in S line trim, complete with 21-inch alloy wheels and body-colour wheel arches and sills.

There's an eye-catching S Line body kit and illuminated aluminium door sills, plus standard sport adaptive air suspension with controlled dampers. Virtual exterior mirrors are also available as an option.

Inside the car is the same as the SUV although with 20mm less headroom in the rear. It's still pretty comfy back there even for a taller passenger, however. Bootspace measures 60 litres in the front and 615 litres in the rear.

The Audi E-Tron Sportback will be available in the UK at the start of 2020.

Further reading:

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback rear view, driving