Even afterwards a few account abaft the wheel, it’s accessible to balloon the Audi e-tron is electric. The SUV is not abandoned or radical, but rather banal and effortless. Audi didn’t ad-lib article new with the e-tron. The German car aggregation ashore a competent electric powertrain in an SUV, and, in the process, created a absurd agent that should bell with shoppers.
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The Audi e-tron is the new criterion in electric cars. Some EVs are larger, faster and accept a best range, while some are abate and added limited. The e-tron sits in the middle. Priced at $74,800, the e-tron is a abounding size, has a abstinent ambit and appearance faster charging than a Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace or Chevy Bolt.
I spent a day in an Audi e-tron and collection it hundreds of afar over Abu Dhabi’s absolute tarmac, about ambagious abundance anchorage and through sand-covered arid passes. The e-tron performs absolutely how a client expects a mid-size Audi SUV to perform. On the road, the e-tron is acquisitive and quiet, while off the road, over rocks and through abysmal sand, it was athletic and surefooted.
Just like the 1980 Audi Quattro normalized all-wheel drive, it’s bright the German car aggregation hopes the e-tron does the aforementioned to electric power.
The car ambiguous bottomward an Abu Dhabi highway. On this quiet morning, the cartage was light. Abu Dhabi’s cast afresh installed dispatch cameras at approved intervals, so with the cruise set at 140kmh, and Masdar Burghal crumbling in the background, the mountains on the Oman bound grew larger. The drive was uneventful; it was a approved commute. The e-tron’s electric motors served up ability in an effortless fashion.
This is acceptable how abounding Audi e-trons will absorb their life. While the agent has able off-road abilities, best will apparently never hit annihilation added than a parking lot flowerbed. Like best SUVs, these electric cartage will acceptable be acclimated as bodies movers, ferrying bodies to and from assignment and school. In this task, it’s adequate and familiar, but there’s so abounding added to Audi’s aboriginal EV.
Drop the e-tron’s pedal to the attic and the mid-size SUV all-overs to life. The new Audi electric AWD arrangement provides the absorption bare to barrage the agent forward. There are 400 horses available, and the torque is absolute and plentiful, alike at artery speeds. Audi says the 0-60 time is 5.7 abnormal — and that’s quick abounding for best buyers.
The e-tron’s adequacy was put on affectation antagonism up a abundance road. The adventure took about 20 minutes, but that was added than abounding time for the e-tron to appearance off. As it aerated about attenuated roads, the e-tron captivated bound to the pavement and handled the ambagious alley with decisiveness. To be clear, the e-tron is not a Pike’s Peak racer. The anatomy cycle was on par with added SUVs; it wasn’t offensive, but noticeable. At speed, council is bound but lacked advisory acknowledgment — a affair I apparent connected with the all-wheel drive system.
The e-tron is heavy. At 5,489 lbs it’s 661 lbs added than the abate Jaguar I-Pace and has 68 lbs on the beyond Tesla Model X 75D. This isn’t apparent while driving, but is account noting. The array and electric motors are anchored at the basal of the vehicle, which acceptable contributes to the athletic feeling.
Audi congenital a circuitous array about-face arrangement into the e-tron, and it seems to assignment as advertised. At the alpha of my alley cruise in Abu Dhabi, the agent said it had an accessible ambit of added than 210 afar while active with the AC announcement at abounding strength. During artery cruising, the ambit decreased absolutely as advertised. During burghal driving, the about-face approach recuperated added ambit than I expected, hardly extending the range. On the active 20-minute adapted about abundance roads, the arrangement acquired added than 10 percent of its ambit acknowledgment to the arrangement convalescent ability from the breaking and rolling resistance.
The U.S.’s EPA has yet to absolution official numbers for the e-tron, and I didn’t absorb abounding time with the agent to acknowledge an boilerplate range. What’s clear, however, is the e-tron can calmly beat 200 afar on a charge, and beneath assertive active altitude can go abounding farther. And acknowledgment to the fastest recharging arrangement in its class, the e-tron batteries can be recharged quicker than others — 80 percent in 30 minutes.
The e-tron accepts a allegation up to 150kw. This allows the batteries to be refilled to 80 percent in 30 minutes. But Audi doesn’t accept a arrangement of chargers like Tesla. Instead, the car aggregation partnered with Electrify America and e-tron owners are accepted 1,000 kWh of power.
Compared to competitors, the e-tron can recharge at a quicker bulk than others. But alone at specific chargers. Interestingly, the e-tron has recharge ports on both abandon of the vehicle.
The array about-face serves addition purpose axial to Audi’s brand: all-wheel drive. The adult arrangement that extends the ambit of the agent additionally assists the agent in accouterment the adapted ability to anniversary wheel. Like acceptable AWD platforms, this lets the agent abide surefooted beyond rain, snow and sand. And in the desert, there was affluence of beach to analysis the system.
I took the e-tron through beach drifts and over dark bouldered dunes. The electric AWD arrangement never disappointed. Compared to acceptable AWD, this belvedere seemed to acknowledge quicker in a abounding added attenuate fashion. When aggressive a dune area argumentation declared the tires were spinning, I couldn’t feel the tires spinning, yet the agent connected to climb. When antagonism over two-foot beach drifts accoutrement gravel, the agent would alluvion in a asinine fashion, yet the annoy circuit wasn’t acquainted through the pedals. This abstract is a side-effect of the move to electric and is article drivers will accept to get acclimated to.
The e-tron’s berth is accurately adorned with accustomed abstracts and Audi’s latest technology package. A ample agenda array sits in advanced of the disciplinarian while, two screens abide in the centermost assemblage and are acclimated for the infotainment arrangement and altitude controls. This is the aforementioned arrangement in the new Audi A6 and A7, and I acquisition the blueprint abounding easier to use than the behemothic screens in Tesla and a growing cardinal of added vehicles. Radio on the top, altitude on the bottom. It’s a analytic layout.
When needed, the basal awning is acclimated for appearance input, and there’s a advanced wrist-rest placed beneath the awning to acquiesce the user to abiding their hand. This makes a difference. Instead of application a all-a-quiver duke aerial over a behemothic screen, users can blow their wrist on this pad and calmly ascribe an address.
There are odd concessions in this affluence SUV. The sun visors do not accelerate on their ascent pole to extend their reach, and this affection was acutely missing during my drive through the desert. The council cavalcade doesn’t accept ability adjustment. A sunroof isn’t an option. For a agent with a starting bulk of $74,800, these appearance are abnormally absent.
I spent the day in a European alternative of the e-tron, and it was able with agenda side-mirrors. U.S. buyers will not get this option, and that’s accomplished with me. I never got acclimated to them. Instead of employing a allotment of bottle for ancillary mirrors, there are cameras army on small, futuristic-looking stalks. Inside the cabin, there are baby LCD screens army beneath the window. This basic mirror isn’t account it. The screens are too baby and accept too low of a resolution. The disciplinarian cannot move their arch to accretion a new angle like what’s accessible with acceptable mirrors. Call me old-fashioned, but I adopt my mirrors to be fabricated out of mirrors.
This e-tron SUV is about the self-titled anthology for Audi’s band of electric vehicles. Audi’s roadmap is clear, and it’s abounding of approaching models with the e-tron nameplate.
Next year Audi affairs to absolution two added EV vehicles: the e-tron Sportback, a adventurous SUV, and e-tron GT, a sports auto developed with the advice of Porsche . Audi is affliction a abate e-tron agent for 2020.
Audi is architecture the e-tron cast about key innovations in recharging the array both through about-face and absolute charging. As of appropriate now, this is area the e-tron stands afar from its peers. It had the best adult about-face arrangement and the fastest charging time. As batteries improve, these two platforms are abreast to booty advantage of beyond batteries.
There are alone a few EVs on the bazaar authoritative the antagonism bright for the Audi e-tron. The new Jaguar I-Pace is priced hardly beneath the e-tron and has a agnate range, but is abate and recharges slower. If buyers are accommodating to canal the e-tron off-road chops and affluence cast of Audi, the Chevy Bolt offers agnate burden capacity, technology and ambit for abounding less. The Nissan Leaf is addition acceptable bargain advantage for those adorable for annihilation but an electric bodies mover.
Tesla is Audi’s abutting adversary in the space. The Tesla Model X offers a bigger SUV and a quicker 0-60 time, admitting a slower recharge time. The abject Model X offers a agnate ambit for $10,000 over the e-tron’s price, and for added money the Tesla can be configured for a best range.
On a dragstrip, the $84,000 abject Model X is abounding quicker than the Audi e-tron, and the $140,000 Model X alternative is as about quick to 60 as the fastest Audi cool sports car. That doesn’t beggarly the Tesla is bigger than the e-tron. During my day with the e-tron, either while casual cartage or demography off from a stop light, I begin the e-tron to accept an abounding bulk of dispatch — quick abounding to adventure admitting not in a ludicrous, tire-shredding fashion.
The Tesla Model X offers article not begin in the Audi e-tron: Recognition. A Model X looks like annihilation abroad on the road, admitting the Audi e-tron looks like addition crossover. Compare the two vehicles’ technology bales and Tesla’s self-driving Autopilot affection stands tall. The e-tron alone has lane abetment and adaptive cruise control, a far cry from Tesla’s system.
Questions about Tesla’s approaching abide and could be on the minds of adeptness shoppers. Will the automaker be about to account its cartage through their life? Will Tesla be able to calibration its adaptable adjustment crews to be able to bout the cardinal of cartage it’s shipping. The cipher automaker lacks the massive banker arrangement of Audi and its parent, VW, which for all their faults, at atomic accommodate abundant area for owners to account their vehicles.
Audi isn’t aggravating to ascertain the attending of the agent by the powertrain. Onlookers would be hard-pressed to acquaint the e-tron is electric in the aforementioned appearance as is axiomatic with a Tesla or Toyota Prius. It’s a altered action than what’s active by others, and Audi seems to be cyberbanking on it to access acceptance of its electric vehicles.
The Audi e-tron is fantastic. For the accountable future, this is the electric agent that makes the best faculty for best people. It’s not radical. The e-tron is familiar. The e-tron is abounding and adequate while the berth is loaded with the accepted cyberbanking accoutrements buyers apprehend from the affluence brand.
The Audi e-tron makes electric cars adorable to added buyers by removing variables. It looks and feels like its gasoline counterparts. Inside and out, it’s normal. That’s the point, and it works.
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