Even though it’s not a dedicated electric vehicle like the smaller Q4 models, the E-Tron is still an impressive zero-emissions SUV. To keep up with the times, Audi is looking to upgrade its largest high-riding EV by preparing a mid-cycle update slated to come out in the second half of 2022. Autocar has it on good authority some major changes are in tow to make the E-Tron / E-Tron Sportback more competitive in an increasingly challenging segment.
According to the British magazine, Audi’s engineers will be installing more efficient electric motors and a new battery pack to unlock significantly more range compared to today’s model. While the European-spec E-Tron is rated at 249 miles of range in the WLTP cycle, it is believed the facelifted version will be able to do more than 373 miles between charges. Expect a similar bump for the US-spec E-Tron, which in its current configuration is rated by EPA at 222 miles.
An extra 124 miles in the WLTP cycle would be quite the range boost, much needed considering more and more dedicated EVs are coming out with impressive ranges. Speaking of which, Audi is working on its own larger bespoke electric SUV as the Ingolstadt-built Q6 E-Tron will be coming out next year on the PPE platform co-developed with Porsche, which is working on its own Macan EV.
The Q6 E-Tron’s arrival won’t spell the end for the E-Tron, even though the latter is based on the MLB platform that was originally conceived for high-end VW Group models equipped with combustion engines. High-ranked sources close to Audi cited by Autocar claim “there will be a facelift for the E-Tron SUV and E-Tron Sportback.” The insider says both electric SUVs will be “significantly upgraded with a number of technical updates that will further increase their competitiveness.”
Meanwhile, there’s another dedicated electric SUV coming before the end of the year. It doesn’t have a name just yet, but it made an unexpected appearance as a camouflaged prototype back in April at the Shanghai Auto Show. Much like the Q4 E-Tron and Q4 Sportback E-Tron, it rides on the MEB platform shared with the Volkswagen ID.4 and the Skoda Enyaq iV.
The China-bound model is expected to be a three-row electric SUV twinned with the VW ID.6 also only available in the People’s Republic. It will come from the local joint venture with SAIC, complete with dual electric motors, about 300 horsepower, an all-wheel-drive system, and up to seven seats.