What is it?
For ‘Sportback’, read four-door coupé, or any other phrase that means more rakish looks at the expense of a 45-litre reduction in boot space.
This, then, is the lengthily titled Audi E-tron 55 quattro Sportback. Sportback aside, the rest of the name has ‘quattro’ for four-wheel drive, ‘E-tron’ for being free from internal combustion, ‘55’ for having 402bhp and a 95kWh battery, and ‘Audi’, which means a classy interior.
We’ve driven the Audi E-tron SUV extensively before. This time around, the raked back window means the range starts in semi-sporting S line trim but the hardware is the same as the squarer car.
There’s a skateboardy big battery beneath the floor with an electric motor front and rear, both driving through their own single-speed gearing at a peak combined output of 402bhp and 490lb ft. It’ll hold that power level for up to 8sec if you’re insistent with the throttle, which means anywhere but on an autobahn, that’s as long as you’ll ever need.
If you’re not absolutely on it, most of the time the E-tron drives just on the rear motor, with the front chipping in when your throttle demands it, or if the rear tyres look like slipping.
The idea of that is to improve efficiency and maximise the range. Add to that a drag coefficient of Cd 0.25; plus, as fitted to our test car, cameras for door mirrors. Even so, this is a big car and, even with a big battery, had a range in our hands of around 200-220 miles – less than its rivals. Still, it’ll charge at up to 150kW.