Zap-Map verdict: “Stylish and sporty, the Audi e-tron S Sportback is a good example that EVs can be lots of fun.”
- ● OTR: £87,750
- ● Category: Coupe-SUV
- ● Tax: £0 VED – 1% BIK
- ● Cost to charge: £15.20
- ● Emissions: 0 g/km CO2
- ● Cost per mile of range: £393
Audi e-tron S Sportback: Range & charging
Not content to offer a large, practical SUV, Audi has expanded its line-up to include two battery choices, two body styles, and three power options. Here we drive the e-tron S Sportback, the most performance orientated model in the portfolio.
There is one core configuration available:
- ● Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro – 370 kW – 95 kWh – 223 miles
The Audi e-tron S Sportback will cover 223 miles on a single charge according to official WLTP results. Compared to the e-tron 55 Sportback – same shape, less power – the range has dropped by around 25 miles per charge, so not significant, but some buyers will prefer to have that extra range at the cost of performance.
Driving in real-world conditions, the e-tron S Sportback impressed more than the ‘standard’ e-tron modes I’ve driven before, getting closer to its official range figure. I averaged more than 220 miles per charge over extensive routes, including testing out the performance aspect of the model. At more sedate speeds, the calculated range sat at around 230 miles, so the official WLTP figure is pretty accurate.
The brake energy recuperation function in Audi’s electric models is extremely good, with a high level of efficiency in grabbing back those otherwise lost electrons. It’s not perfect, but has a few different levels of selectable recuperation, and there’s an automatic mode that will work things out for you too. I’d prefer a little more ability to tailor the settings from the driver, but it’s a good system on the whole.
As with the rest of the e-tron range, charging is a real plus point. This version is capable of charging at up to 150 kW from DC charge points, so although it might not have the range of a Mercedes Benz or Jaguar, for example, it will charge around half as fast again.
The inlet is situated between the front wheel and front doors, which can make charging on ultra-rapid points tricky because of the relatively short cables tethered to the units. However, most of the time the system works well, and the ability to charge on AC from either side of the car is useful. That AC charging system comes with an 11 kW on-board charger as standard, upgradable to 22 kW; all using the Type 2 CCS set-up.
The Audi e-tron S Sportback on the road
Audi’s engineers have been canny by the looks of it, giving the S model a significant boost in performance – power is up to 370 kW in overboots rather than 300 kW in non-S models. It feels very quick too, but not lightning quick – which leaves the door open for a full RS performance model in time. Pace is more than enough for most, however, with a 0-62mph stint covered in just 4.5 seconds.
What’s the Audi e-tron S Sportback like to drive?
A selection of chassis and suspension tweaks have managed to turn what was normally a fairly placid car to drive into something far more characterful. Not a lot has been done to the S Sportback, but that lower ride height, and added stiffness in the springs and platform combine to good effect. It’s now great fun to drive when the mood takes, but also capable of being docile and comfortable in town or on the motorway.
Audi e-tron S Sportback: Comfort & Practicality
If you prioritise practicality in your large electric SUVs, it’s best to go for the e-tron, which has a slightly larger boot. The Sportback doesn’t lose much to the boxier SUV in reality really, and is still a practical proposition for most. Headroom is still plentiful in the back for all but the tallest occupants, and leg space is excellent. There’s the front storage area under the bonnet to remember too, which is convenient for housing charging cables.
Design and functionality
The cabin is largely identical to non-S models, which isn’t an issue, since it’s excellent. Comfortable seats, an easy to use and high-tech twin haptic-feedback touchscreen system, and excellent design combine to create one of the strongest interiors around.
Audi e-tron S Sportback: Tech & Specifications
There are two trim levels for the S model – base and Vorsprung. Both are available in either SUV or Coupe-SUV body styles. Fitted as standard are:
- MMI Navigation Plus with dual screens and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Digital instrument panel
- 20-inch alloys
- LED headlights
- Air suspension
- Three-level brake energy recuperation with driving modes
- Keyless entry and start
- Rear parking camera and 360-degree sensors
The e-tron is a nice, easy to drive, sensible EV, but it has always lacked a little something to make it stand out from the crowd. Of the three main premium EV SUVs, the Audi sat behind the Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes Benz EQC in my opinion. The S model mixes things up again nicely, and I really don’t know which I’d pick of the three. Coming along with engaging driving dynamics, plenty of practical space, and a stylish exterior, the e-tron S Sportback is a real sweet spot in the range.
And how much is the road tax on an Audi e-tron S Sportback quattro? Use our Car Tax Calculator to find out.
All information above correct at time of publication. Official economy figures, pricing, and tax rates supplied by the manufacturer. Cost to charge based on 0-100% charge at home on a tariff of 16 p/kWh.