Detail

Audi has revealed the name of the show car that it will unveil at the 2017 Auto Shanghai show this week – the e-tron Sportback concept is set to preview an electric-powered fastback model that will form part of Ingolstadt’s new three-prong EV strategy for 2020.

The company also released a few teaser images, including sketches of the full car. They show that while the body itself is largely similar in shape to an A7, it rides taller – putting it fairly close in format to BMW’s controversial Gran Turismo line of vehicles. This echoes the comments made to Car by Audi chairman Rupert Stadler, who said that the car would “not an SUV, but higher than a standard saloon.”

The R8-esque front end is as we’ve seen before; the broad, flat singleframe grille – closed off in this case, hinting at the electric drivetrain behind it – is flanked by trapezoidal LED headlights with directional indicators, while another series of LEDs below are capable of performing a light show all of their own. Contrasting body mouldings give the car a more SUV-like look.

Further back, there are strong haunches above the wheels that suggest a four-wheel drive setup underneath, and the sweeping roofline is topped off with a large rear spoiler. The rear features light strips that stretch across the car, performing a sweep one way, then the other as they light up.

A cluster of LEDs under the light bars then illuminate in a rotating fashion before the whole array switches on. Even the four-ring emblems light up – white at the front, red at the rear – and the e-tron badging at the rear provides yet another hint at the electric power source.

As mentioned, the e-tron Sportback, which will go on sale in 2019, is part of the brand’s strategy of coming out with no less than three dedicated electric vehicles by 2020, according to a Car report. The first, an SUV set to go on sale in 2018, was previewed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show with the e-tron quattro concept, while a premium EV city car is expected to follow after the Sportback in 2020.