Audi is putting on quite a show these days at IAA in Frankfurt by presenting a slew of debuts from the A1 Citycarver and Q3 Sportback to the hotly anticipated RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback. Another upcoming product made a brief appearance during Audi’s press conference as the E-Tron Sportback was brought on stage. Since the electric SUV’s debut was not scheduled for the Frankfurt show, Audi decided to turn off the lights to conceal the vehicle’s design.
The tease follows the unveiling of a near-production prototype back in March at the Geneva Motor Show, so it’s safe to say Audi is taking its sweet time with the release of the E-Tron Sportback. As per an announcement made at the ongoing 2019 IAA, the wraps will finally come off on November 19 during the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Knowing how Audi applies the Sportback treatment, the electric SUV’s appearance is not really much of a secret since it will retain most of the design cues of the standard E-Tron, but with a more sloped roofline ending with a slightly sportier derrière. The body style change will probably have a negative impact on headroom for rear passengers as well as on the cargo capacity, while the price tag will go up a bit over the regular model.
We’re expecting the electric bits to be virtually carried over from the E-Tron, so a combined output of 402 horsepower (300 kilowatts) and an instant 490 pound-feet (664 Newton-meters) of torque seems like an educated guess. At the end of May, we published some spy shots of a possible E-Tron S testing at the Nürburgring, and there’s a pretty good chance the Sportback model will also get Audi Sport’s spicy S flavor. The hotter version might throw a third electric motor into the mix to unlock more electric power, hopefully without affecting range.
Meanwhile, the E-Tron Sportback’s November official debut will likely be followed by a market launch early 2020.