Audi’s next all-electric vehicle, the e-tron Sportback, is a ‘coupé’ SUV

Audi revealed Tuesday evening in Los Angeles the e-tron Sportback as the German automaker begins to chip away at its plan to launch more than 30 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids by 2025. The e-tron Sportback reveal ahead of the LA Auto Show follows the launch earlier this year of Audi’s first all-electric vehicle, the 2019 e-tron. Audi has delivered 18,500 of its all-electric e-tron SUVs globally since March 2019, when the vehicle first came to market. The company is hoping to grab more, and different, customers with the Sportback. Audi plans to offer two variants of the vehicle, a Sportback 50 and Sportback 55. The Sportback will come to Europe first in spring 2020. The Sportback 55 will come to the U.S. in fall 2020. Audi calls this e-tron Sportback an SUV coupé, the latest evidence that automakers are comfortable pushing the boundaries of traditional automotive terminology. This is not a two-door car with a fixed roof and a sloping rear, although there are “coupé” elements in the design. This is in fact an SUV with a roof that extends flat over the body and then drops steeply to the rear — that’s where the coupé name comes in — and into the D pillar of the vehicle. Then...

FILE – In this March 13, 2018 file photo VW group CEO Matthias Mueller attends the

FILE – In this March 13, 2018 file photo VW group CEO Matthias Mueller attends the annual media … [+] conference of the Volkswagen group in Berlin, Germany. He was replaced, in the wake of VW’s “diesel dupe” scandal. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber,file) In a post a few months ago, I lamented the way some companies now live in an ethical gray zone where they are willing to betray their customers—and other stakeholders—in the pursuit of profit. I singled out Volkswagen for its “diesel dupe” scandal. VW installed covert software that enabled its vehicles to evade emissions standards. The software detected when the car was being tested for emissions and ramped up its system to pass the test. It fooled everyone while the test was being done and then the cars went back to violating emissions limits on the road.  Why this happened is sadly human and absurd. A recent pair of articles from the New York Times lays out details about how the company tried to fool regulators and car buyers in order to surpass Toyota as the world’s largest auto-maker. It wanted to be the biggest, without being the best. But it was behind schedule on the creation of new diesel techno...