Audi plans to upgrade its E-tron and E-tron Sportback SUVs with a new-generation battery, affording them longer ranges, as part of their facelifts during the latter half of 2022.
Shown off in near-complete prototype form by the German brand, it is aiming to extend the shelf life of the flagship siblings until at least 2025, when they’re set to be replaced by an all-new SUV, possibly called the Q8 E-tron.
Both variants of the updated E-tron – the SUV and rakish-roofed Sportback – will also get subtly overhauled styling, with a new-look grille, revised bumpers and redesigned headlight clusters among the updates.
Along with the new battery, the E-trons are earmarked to receive more efficient electric motors and an upgraded electronics system that will enable greater energy recuperation among other enhanced functions.
Autocar has been told by sources inside Audi that the upgrades to the powertrain will boost range to more than 373 miles for both variants. By comparison, the 95kWh battery currently used delivers a maximum range of 249 miles.
The first two models in a growing range of electric Audi models, the E-tron and E-tron Sportback were introduced to the UK in 2019 and 2020 respectively. They are based on a modified version of Audi’s MLB architecture, which was originally developed for ICE cars, making them inherently more compromised than an entirely EV-specific creation.
The mid-life upgrade for the SUVs is planned despite the pending arrival of the Q6 E-tron, which is based on the new EV-specific PPE platform that was developed in an engineering joint venture between Audi and Porsche.
“There will be a facelift for the E-tron SUV and the E-tron Sportback,” a high-ranking Audi official told Autocar. “They will both be significantly upgraded with a number of technical updates that will further increase their competitiveness.”
Following confirmation of the new Q6 E-tron at the Shanghai motor show last year, suggestions were that it could replace the E-tron and E-tron Sportback. However, while the Q6 E-tron will also offer both regular SUV and coupé-inspired Sportback bodystyles, it is described as being smaller than today’s E-tron flagship pairing.