Audi’s new electric car concept is pretty obviously from the future – The Verge

Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Audi’s new all-electric concept vehicle, the E-tron Sportback, made its debut at the Shanghai auto show today. And in addition to being super futuristic-looking, it also has some fairly surprising specs.

The E-tron Sportback will have 320 kilowatts of power — though Audi promises a “boost mode” to 370 kW — and can sprint to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. A 95 kWh battery pack will enable just over 310 miles of range per charge, although that will probably be closer to 275 miles, given that the Germany-based Audi uses the European rating system for electric vehicle range. The automaker says the new electric coupe crossover will hit the market in 2019, about a year after the Quattro E-tron, Audi’s first electric concept which it introduced back in 2015.

The Audi badge on the front of the car lights up, as if to say, “Hi, I’m from the future.” Light-up badges are all the rage these days, with both Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti offering vehicles with glowing logos on their grille. Some auto execs predict that headlights will soon be obsolete, not necessarily because of these illuminated badges, but rather because the cars will be driving themselves.

The interior of the E-tron Sportback features a bunch of pretty, high-resolution touchscreens: one behind the steering wheel, two in the center console, and a few more scattered around. Digitally controlled LEDs at the front and rear of the car produce “an excellent light yield,” Audi says, while minuscule digital projectors “literally make their mark on the road ahead, turning light into a versatile, dynamic channel of communication with the surroundings.” In other words, the Audi badge on the front of the car ain’t the only thing that glows.

Audi has said it intends to produce three electric vehicles; the E-tron Quattro and E-tron Sportback being the first two. The automaker also has plans to build a hydrogen-powered SUV dubbed the H-tron Quattro, which it unveiled last year. This suite of zero-emission concepts makes it pretty clear that Audi is doing its best to look beyond our fossil fuel-driven present — typified by the diesel-emissions scandal that has embroiled its parent company, Volkswagen — and toward a cleaner, more sustainable future.

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