New Audi e-tron with 350+ mile range arriving this year [Update]

Update: ‘Rising popularity’ section updated.

In September 2018, the Audi e-tron debuted as the brand’s first all-electric SUV. The e-tron Sportback with a softer roof followed in November 2019 as the premium electric SUV-coupe. Both models will receive exterior and interior updates together in the second half of this year, as per a report from Autocar UK.

Rising popularity

Audi’s sales report confirms that the e-trons are becoming increasingly popular across the globe. 81,894 units of the all-electric Audi e-tron range were sold in 2021, which is a growth of 57.5% compared to the previous year. In the United States, Audi enjoyed a record year for electric vehicle sales, with an impressive increase of 52.5% over 2020. The Audi e-tron SUV’s sales grew sharply in Europe (+10.3%) and China (+68.7%), with both regions being major volume drivers for the brand.

In Q1 2022, Audi delivered 10,330 units of the e-tron worldwide, and the numbers could have been much higher if the supply chain was stable. The newly launched Q4 e-tron is now the brand’s most popular model globally, with 10,656 units shipped in Q1 2022. The e-tron GT, Q2 L e-tron, and Q5 e-tron ranked third, fourth, and fifth, with 2,753, 718, and 62 units sold, respectively. In the U.S. alone, Audi sold 2,028 units of the e-tron between January and March 2022, 42% lesser than in Q1 2021 (3,474 units). Due to supply chain disruption, the Q4 e-tron recorded zero units sold, while the e-tron GT saw sales of 572 units.

2023 Audi e-tron Exterior

Audi started testing the new e-tron on public roads in 2021, and Instagram user f.s_carspotting had captured it on camera during one of the test runs. The images of the camouflaged prototype suggest that the new model is likely to feature a revised Singleframe grille featuring a new structured surface with horizontal inserts. The headlamp and tail lamp graphics, wheels, and bumpers will also be revised. Audi designers appear to have darkened it to make it nearly invisible when turned off.

New Audi e-tron Sportback

Weeks ago, Audi took the e-tron S to the Volkswagen Group’s secret winter testing facility called “KALT 1,” located in Sweden. One of the units it tested features camouflage wrap on the front and rear, indicating that it is the restyled e-tron Sportback due later this year. In the update, the e-tron Sportback will likely receive a new closed Singleframe, redesigned bumpers, and reshaped air intakes similar to the e-tron that give it new styling and maybe even enhanced aerodynamics. Expect some tweaks to the headlights and rear lights, too, and some new alloy wheel options, though not visible in the pictures of the prototypes.

2023 Audi e-tron Interior

Motor Authority‘s spy photographer spotted a prototype of the 2023 e-tron Sportback and claimed that Audi had fitted a new infotainment system. Be that may, we doubt designers will club the instrument cluster and central screen into a single panel like in the BMW iX. As observed in the Audi skysphere concept that debuted in August 2021, clubbed screens may appear only in the next-gen Audi EVs. Even the flagship Audi EV, the e-tron GT, which the company revealed in February 2021, doesn’t have such a futuristic layout.

New specifications

Range

While the basic platform will be retained, the refreshed e-tron will have “a number of technical updates,” as per Autocar’s source. Powertrain upgrades will increase the range (WLTP) to more than 600 km/373 miles, as per the report, thanks to a new battery pack. As in the current model, the low-riding Sportback version, with superior aerodynamics, would allow the maximum possible range in the new e-tron family.

New motors

This new Audi e-tron (along with its sloping-roof derivate, the e-tron Sportback) will not only run on new, more efficient motors but will also incorporate upgraded electronics systems that lead to increased recuperation of energy. With these extensive revisions, expect the 2023 Audi e-tron to offer not just a higher range but improved performance. Customers who experience challenging winters and altitude changes while driving, such as those in Canada and Northern Europe, where the batteries deplete quicker, would welcome the improvements.

Regular software updates

With software updates, the new e-tron and new e-tron Sportback’s range figures will witness improvements during their lifecycle. The current e-tron recently received a software update that increased its range by up to 20 km or 12 miles on the WLTP cycle. The software update was available to install at service centers, not over the air, though. Still, the point is that Audi will try to improve the efficiency of EVs even if they are already on the road.

Among the least efficient BEVs on sale in the U.S.

In the U.S., the e-tron and e-tron Sportback are among the least efficient BEVs on sale, and a powertrain upgrade can’t come sooner. Particularly, the tri-motor e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback with 21” or 22” wheels need help, as they deliver 62 MPGe (city)/64 MPGe (highway)/63 MPGe (combined) and 64 MPGe (city)/66 MPGe (highway)65 mpg (combined). The EPA est. range of these models is 181 miles and 185 miles, respectively.

Will it release as the Audi Q8 e-tron?

In what can be described as an unusual move, Audi could have resolved to change the name of the e-tron in the middle of its lifecycle. According to an Automobilewoche report, the refreshed e-tron due this year will arrive as the Audi Q8 e-tron. While one would immediately perceive the model as more premium than the Q6 e-tron, customers could mistake it as an electric alternative to the larger Q8, which the SUV isn’t.

In late 2021, Audi confirmed that the next-gen Audi Q8 e-tron would be introduced in 2026, manufactured at Audi’s plant in Brussels. As the 2023 e-tron has comprehensive changes, and the Q8 is associated with a high-end SUV, Audi’s marketing division may not have felt the need to wait until 2026 for a car worthy of the Q8 e-tron nameplate.

MY2023 Audi e-tron gets minor upgrades in the U.S.

Audi has rolled out upgrades to its range in the United States. Expectedly, the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback also receive feature upgrades. For the MY2023 Audi e-tron Sportback, the previously optional black headliner is now standard. Audi says that the Prestige trim has benefitted the most from this round of upgrades.

2023 Audi e-tron U.S. spec
The current e-tron with feature revisions has been announced for the U.S. for the 2023 model year (pictured). Expect the revamped e-tron (discussed in the story) to arrive in America next year. Image: Audi

The MY2023 Audi e-tron Sportback Prestige gets the following equipment as standard: 22-inch 5-spoke Turbine-design alloy wheels, front and rear brake calipers painted in orange, rear side airbags with illuminated safety belt buckles, and Digital Matrix headlamps. The matrix lights technology has only recently received a regulatory nod from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) in the U.S., which previously did not allow the low and high beams to operate simultaneously. The matrix lamps reduce glare by switching off a sliver of their beam when oncoming traffic is detected.

Updates have been made to the e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback. The models now feature carbon square structure inlays and LED interior lighting pack as standard. They also get the Digital Matrix headlamps as standard. Naturally, the prices have been revised for the MY 2022 Audi e-tron. As you can see below, the Prestige trims prices have slightly increased while the entry-level Premium variants’ prices have been marginally reduced.

Audi e-tron variantsMY2022 PriceMY2023 Price
Audi e-tron PremiumUSD 65,900USD 66,800
Audi e-tron Premium PlusUSD 74,800USD 74,800
Audi e-tron PrestigeUSD 83,400USD 83,400
Audi e-tron Sportback PremiumUSD 69,100USD 70,000
Audi e-tron Sportback Premium PlusUSD 78,000USD 78,000
Audi e-tron Sportback PrestigeUSD 82,300USD 86,300
Audi e-tron S Premium PlusUSD 84,800USD 85,200
Audi e-tron S PrestigeUSD 89,800USD 92,300
Audi e-tron S Sportback Premium PlusUSD 87,400USD 87,800
Audi e-tron S Sportback PrestigeUSD 92,400USD 94,900
All prices are MSRP of the U.S. spec models (via Audi USA website and Audi press release), excluding destination, handling, taxes, dealer and other charges.

With the MY2023 update based on the current SUV on sale, we assume that the e-tron facelift will not be heading to the U.S. before next year.

New Audi e-tron FAQs

What is the new Audi e-tron facelift release date?

The e-tron with all-around improvements is expected to reach dealerships in the second half of 2022 in Europe, and the U.S. next year.

What are the visual changes to the new e-tron?

Revised Singleframe grille with a structured surface and horizontal inserts, new headlamp & taillamp graphics, and different bumpers & wheels.

What will be the new Audi e-tron facelift range?

The upgraded e-tron will be able to travel more than 600 km (373 miles), as per Autocar magazine, thanks to significant powertrain upgrades.

Featured Image Source: Audi