Audi Teaser Reveal Shows Sportback Electric Sports Car

Audi has posted a teasing reveal of the e-tron Sportback concept right before its launch this Wednesday at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The teasers show Audi design chief Marc Lichte unveiling the concept car. The reveal presents a lot more than the usual manufacturer pre-auto show teaser, with this sketch display showing a futuristic, sleek all-electric sports car.

Audi’s new e-tron Sportback is more in league with other Audi performance cars like the TT and R8 rather than its lineup of large luxury cars and wagons. The Sportback may be more prepared to take on the BMW i8, Karma Revero, Fisker EMotion, NIO EP9, and Faraday FF91 than Tesla models.

The first in the e-tron series will be the e-tron quattro SUV coming out in 2018 with the claim it will go 300 miles on a charge. It will be a premium electric SUV competing directly with the Tesla Model X and the upcoming Jaguar I-Pace.

Audi has not disclosed what test cycle will be used to hit the 300-mile target, but it’s expected to use the European NEDC cycle. This standard typically estimates much longer range than the U.S. EPA cycle.

The German automaker recently announced that an electric sports car and an electric compact car will follow the e-tron SUV. These vehicles are scheduled to roll out between 2018 and 2021. They’re part of parent company Volkswagen’s aggressive move to manufacture two to three million battery electric vehicles and launch 30 electric models by 2025.

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Audi and VW plan to make the Chinese market a fundamental part of its sales growth strategy for electric “new energy” vehicles and overall sales. In January, Audi and Chinese partner FAW announced they will be launching five locally manufactured plug- in electrified vehicles in the next five years.

Audi’s first quarter financial statement, released Thursday, painted a different picture of that global market. Sales were up in Europe and North America, but down 22.1 percent in China during the quarter. The company said that it’s working with local partners like FAW to lay out structural foundations for the next stage of growth.