LA Auto Show 2019

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback continues automaker's EV-focused future

The new Audi E-Tron Sportback made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG
Audi has given the public a peek at an electric SUV, sports car, and a crossover, with promises of an all-electric-focused future on the tips of executives' tongues. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Audi took one step closer to its vision with the debut of the 2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback.

The car is a four-door crossover with fastback-like styling similar to what you'll find in the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. Its dimensions are similar to the Audi E-Tron, but it sits lower and its roof slopes at a steeper angle. Exterior design cements the vehicle's positioning as an Audi and as an electric vehicle with many of the design hallmarks of the larger E-Tron SUV carried over into this new model.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback rear back silver gray grey The new model features a fastback style roofline.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The model is available in 13 different paint jobs including new plasma blue metallic, which is exclusive to the crossover.

E-Tron Sportback S Line models come standard with 20-inch wheels and a sport air suspension in a nod to the lineage of Audi's more performance-focused models. It also has a more heavily contoured bumper and air curtains, S Line badging, an illuminated aluminum door silver, rear diffuser, and specific graphics on the car's instrument cluster. A black styling package is available.

Audi will offer the model in two trim levels: 2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback 50 Quattro and the 2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback 55 Quattro. Both models will have all-wheel drive.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback black profile side The crossover is sleek but maintains the porportions of the E-Tron SUV.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Only the E-Tron Sportback 55 Quattro will be sold in the U.S. That model has 413 lb-ft of torque that it gets from two electric motors, one attached to each axle. Using Sport mode, drivers can enjoy a brief burst of 489 pound-feet of torque to help get them off the line in a jiffy. Audi claims a zero to 62 mph time of 5.7 seconds. Its top speed is limited to 124 mph.

Audi has engineered the model to have 50:50 weight distribution, which is ideal for any vehicle. It rides on standard standard 255/55 R19 size tires. Up to 22-inch wheels are available.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback side rear profile fastback roofline roof Because of slight design differences, the model is more fuel efficient than the E-Tron SUV.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The new crossover has a 277-mile range in European testing thanks to its 95 kWh battery, but EPA estimates are expected to lower that by about 60 in for U.S. customers. The SUV can be charged up to 80 percent in under an hour at a 150-kW fast-charging station.

Most of the car's interior is identical to the Audi E-Tron SUV. Some of the fancier technology, like matrix LED headlights and cameras instead of side mirrors won't be coming to the U.S. due to government regulation.

2020 Audi E-Tron Sportback interior wheel screens controls The E-Tron SUV and E-Tron Sportback have very similar interiors.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The car does have some nifty tech like dual screens in the center console that control infotainment and climate controls. The top screen is 12.1 inches and the lower is 8.6 inches. Audi virtual cockpit is standard and features a 12.3-inch screen in front of the driver.

Despite the car's fastback shape, headroom in the rear seats is diminished by on 20 mm in the new model compared to the E-Tron SUV.

The Audi e-tron Sportback can be ordered as of the end of November. It will arrive at European dealerships in the spring and reach the U.S. later.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Hyundai has completely refreshed the Santa Fe for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Fe is getting more than just a traditional mid-cycle update for the 2021 model year. It's closer to a generational shift with new powertrains, a new platform, and more premium features.

If you're saying to yourself, "Didn't they just change it?" to yourself right now, you're not wrong. The current Santa Fe shifted generations just about two years ago as the company prepared to introduce the three-row Palisade. When the Palisade arrived, the Santa Fe was relegated to the new two-row Santa Fe and a holdover three-row Santa Fe for a year before going to just a two-row model for 2020.

The SUV has a fresh grille and headlamp design as well as new front and rear fascia.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a face that looks like a blend of the Palisade and the Vision T concept car, which was first shown at last year's LA Auto Show. Its headlights carry over the Spartan helmet-like design that first appeared on the Kona. T-shaped LED daytime running lights flow from the headlights to the sides of the grill. The lower grille eschews the crucible-shape that is on the Palisade and offers a new, sophisticated look.

Hyundai has made the car beefier looking but also gentler with posterior that's sophisticated with arrow-like taillights that are connected through the center of the tailgate by a light bar.

Twenty-inch wheels are available as part of a Luxury Package that includes front and back lower bumpers and side cladding that match the body paint color, rather than the traditional matte black.

Hyundai has already revealed that the 2021 Santa Fe will come with hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants in Europe. They have not confirmed which, if either of those powertrains is coming to the U.S. More information is expected to be revealed soon.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai aimed for a premium SUV with the Palisade, to thunderous applause from industry experts and buyers, and it looks like that design mantra is holding true in the New Santa Fe. The company promotes the model as having more "space, comfort, and convenience" than the outgoing model. That's thanks in large part to the new platform the SUV is riding on.

The new third-gen Hyundai platform allows for improvements inn performance, handling, fuel efficiency, and safety. Additionally, it features more crash resistance. With the SUV market growing increasingly competitive, it's understandable that Hyundai would want to shift the model to the new underpinnings ASAP.

The lower half of the dashboard has been redesigned for 2021 and the cabin has been outfitted with soft-touch materials. The center console has also been redesigned and now floats and features similar instrumentation to the Hyundai Nexo and Palisade. This leaves a good amount of space between driver and front passenger for storage.

A new 10.25-inch infotainment screen floats on the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen appears to float above the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. There is not yet confirmation as to when it comes to the U.S. or what it will cost.

Trending News

 
 

The 1 millionth vehicle off the line was a red Passat.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen Chattanooga Assembly Plant is celebrating the 1 millionth vehicle to roll off its assembly line - Aurora Red Metallic 2020 Volkswagen Passat R-Line. The milestone was reached later than initially anticipated due to production shutdowns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's gratifying to me that our team is back to work and able to mark yet another key milestone since the opening of VW's Chattanooga plant," said Tom du Plessis, president and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. "Part of us getting back to normal is taking time to recognize these important achievements which are only possible because of the hard work and commitment of our exceptional team here in Chattanooga."

2020 Volkswagen Passat Volkswagen's plant employs approximately 3,800 people.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Before the Chattanooga plant opened, Volkswagen hadn't made a vehicle in the U.S. in 22 years following the closing of the Westmoreland facility in Pennsylvania.

The Passat got its start as a vehicle designed specifically for the North American market.

Ground was broken on the Tennessee plant in 2009 and in 2011 it began producing Passats. It currently employees approximately 3,800 people. In the last nine years, the plant has produced more than 700,000 Passats and 100,000 Atlas SUVs. The new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and the refreshed 2021 Atlas recently began production.

The Chattanooga facility doesn't just produce vehicles for domestic sale. Chattanooga-assembled vehicles have been exported to Canada, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and the Middle East.

Volkswagen has announced that the plant will be the company's North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles including the ID.4, representing an approximately $800 million investment, starting in 2022. The expansion to enable U.S. production of long-range EVs began in November 2019.

Volksagen Chattanooga line The Chattanooga plant produces a number of vehicles.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen isn't just committed to the cars it produces in Chattanooga. The company has invested in its community too. Late last year, Volkswagen donated $1.25 million to The Conservation Fund to purchase land near the plant so it could be donated to the U.S. Forest Service.

Trending News