Mid-cycle update to bring new styling, tech

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Audi is in the process of developing a mid-cycle update for its E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback electric SUVs, and a prototype has just been spotted.

The prototype is for the updated E-Tron Sportback, but most of the changes seen here will also end up on the updated E-Tron, which is also out testing.

The E-Tron arrived in 2018 as a 2019 model, with the coupe-like E-Tron Sportback arriving one year after the regular SUV. In Audi tradition, we should see the updated versions arrive in late 2022 or early 2023, likely as 2023 models.

2023 Audi E-Tron Sportback facelift spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The prototype points to significant styling tweaks coming, including a new headlight and grille treatment similar to what we see on the new 2022 Q4 E-Tron. The front and rear fascias also appear to feature a more streamlined look, and it’s possible the internal graphic of the taillights will sport a new design.

There isn’t a shot of the interior but our photographer claims the prototype was fitted with a new infotainment screen. Don’t be surprised if the separate screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment in the current E-Tron are merged into a single wide display for the updated model.

We should also see some major mechanical mods to help keep the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback competitive against some of the newer competition.

2023 Audi E-Tron Sportback facelift spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2023 Audi E-Tron Sportback facelift spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

It’s rumored the vehicles will receive new batteries, more efficient electric motors, and new electronic control software to help boost range. The E-Tron arrived with just 204 miles of range as measured by the EPA. Efficiency updates added for 2021 saw the range increased to 222 miles. The mid-cycle update is expected to increase the range closer to 300 miles. The E-Tron Sportback currently has an EPA-rated range of 218 miles. It should also receive something closer to 300 miles with this update.

Audi was relatively early among established automakers to launch a credible Tesla rival when it first rolled out the E-Tron. However, to speed up the gestation, Audi modified a platform originally developed for internal-combustion cars, specifically the high-riding version of Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo platform shared with the Audi Q7 and Q8 and multiple other VW Group models.

The upcoming updates should keep the E-Tron fresh until it is redesigned around the middle of the decade on a dedicated electric-vehicle platform, at which point it will be rebranded a Q8 E-Tron (although there are rumors the name change could happen with this update). Other Audi EVs due in the coming years include a Q6 E-Tron, A6 E-Tron, and a production version of the Grandsphere concept that may just replace the A8. And beyond 2026, Audi will only introduce EVs.

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