We drove the Audi e-tron SUV in 2019, the exact same yr it was scheduled to be released in India. Nonetheless, specified provide chain constraints, followed by pandemic-related delays meant that this complete-electric Audi SUV lost its to start with-mover advantage to the Mercedes EQC, which released in 2020, and the Jaguar I-Pace that released earlier this yr. These delays, on the other hand, could be a blessing in disguise for Audi, as marketplace consciousness and acceptance of EVs in India is a lot greater now than it ever was. To get started with, Audi will start two versions of this all-electric SUV – e-tron 55 and e-tron 55 Sportback – both equally of which attract ability out of a 95kWh battery. The focus of this critique will be the former.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what is it like?
The e-tron is based mostly on a intensely modified MLB Evo system, which also underpins the likes of the Q5 and Q7. This five-seater e-tron is related in dimensions to the 7-seater Q7, stretching around 5m in length, pretty much 2m in width, and 2.9m in wheelbase, as a result keeping a distinct dimensions advantage around the competition.
The enclosed hexagonal area up entrance mimics Audi’s regular grille design.
Audi has adopted a traditional styling tactic (inside and out) with the e-tron, so though it seems sharp, it does not scream ‘electric’ in its design language. This has been deliberately accomplished to make purchasers experience at house as they transition from an internal combustion motor vehicle to an electric vehicle. Grabbing the limelight upfront is a large, enclosed hexagonal area finished in grey that mimics a standard Audi entrance grille. The attractive headlamps and twenty-inch wheels add some oomph to its design, and for India, we get a standard outside the house mirror setup, relatively than the futuristic, albeit gimmicky twin external digicam setup, which we expert in its worldwide iteration.
Lurking at the rear of the alloys are large 18-inch discs which offer spectacular stopping ability.
Uniquely, Audi has given a charging provision on possibly side of the car, and what’s neat is the way the flap slides down electrically at the press of a button. Providing away its all-electric id are the inexperienced variety plates (mandated for EVs in India), and orange highlights on the e-tron badge and the brake calipers.
Uniquely, the e-tron will get a charging provision on both equally sides, on the entrance fender.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what is it like inside?
Continuing the traditional styling philosophy from the outside the house, stage into the e-tron’s cabin and you’ll instantly establish design attributes and parts shared with other Audis, which is no lousy issue. The sheer high-quality and in good shape-finish on the inside are leading-notch, and there is not a solitary lower-rent area in this Audi’s cabin. The uncluttered, layered dashboard properly wraps alone about the cabin, flowing seamlessly into the doorway pads. The most striking element is the twin screen setup – just one for the infotainment and the other for the climate manage, both equally of which are angled towards the driver. The screens have distinct displays, as nicely as an possibility for haptic suggestions (moderate vibration) when ‘pressed’. What lifts the futuristic experience of the e-tron’s interiors is the fantastic virtual cockpit (complete-electronic instrument cluster), which is just one of the most effective units about when it arrives to show high-quality and ease of use.
The wide entrance seats have organization cushioning and you do not sink into them. The boring grey seat colour is extremely enterprise-like, and brighter inserts or coloured stitching would have livened up the inside. Storage and charging areas in the entrance are aplenty and there is a clever recess area to wirelessly demand your smartphone when put perpendicularly.
Broad entrance seats will not experience extremely plush owing to the organization cushioning.
The rear bench is properly shaped, and the backrest is established to a snug angle. The excellent information is that, even nevertheless the battery pack has been accommodated beneath the flooring, the flooring is not way too substantial-established, so neither are you seated in an uncomfortably knees-up placement, nor has the headroom been compromised. The seat alone is wide sufficient to accommodate a few travellers abreast and the flooring is pretty much flat the protruding air-con console, on the other hand, hampers knee-area for the middle occupant.
The rear seats are fairly snug, as is the seating placement.
At 660-litres, the e-tron’s boot is large, and the area saver tyre is neatly tucked beneath the boot flooring, the place there is also an supplemental area to store the charging cables. What’s additional is that, in the absence of an motor under the bonnet, the entrance has an supplemental trunk or ‘frunk’, the place a modest gentle bag or the charging cables can be stowed.
At 660-litres, the boot area on supply is spectacular.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what characteristics do you get?
The e-tron’s standard characteristic record features twenty-inch wheels, Matrix LED headlamps, a panoramic sunroof, Audi’s virtual cockpit (absolutely-electronic instrument cluster), twin screens – just one for the infotainment and the other for the climate manage – both equally providing haptic suggestions, a four-zone climate manage, adaptive air-suspension, wi-fi charging, wired Android Car and Apple CarPlay, and a reverse digicam. Provided as a element of its in depth alternatives record are the its electronic Matrix LED headlamps which have a neat trick up their sleeve – in addition to lighting up the road extremely nicely, these also conduct a theatrical gentle demonstrate every time you lock or unlock the vehicle. The alternatives record also characteristics an on-board air purifier, fragrance, ambient lighting with thirty colour alternatives, a 16-speaker 705W Bang and Olufsen quality sound process, head-up show, gentle-closing doorways and then some additional. Functions these as ventilated seats, wi-fi telephone connectivity and related car tech, to title a couple of, are missing entirely, the panoramic sunroof does not lengthen all the way at the rear of, and consumers who search for further and geeky EV-related information on the screens will be still left a bit brief-adjusted with the oversimplified displays on supply.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what is it like to push?
The e-tron 55 draws ability from a 95kWh battery pack, which supplies electricity to two motors, just one on each and every axle. In its sportiest environment, the e-tron generates 408hp/664Nm, 184hp at the entrance axle and 224hp at the rear. But in other modes, the e-tron makes 360hp/561Nm (170hp in the entrance and 190hp at the rear).
Ideal off the bat, you’ll be amazed by how carefully the electric motors answer to the flex of your correct foot, and you’ll even forgive Audi for not providing a standard creep perform. Press down a bit additional and you’ll encounter what instant EV torque implies. A mere flex of your correct foot is sufficient to scoot past slow-moving traffic with the type of gusto you’d minimum count on from a 2.six tonne SUV. Acceleration is powerful and linear, and the ease with which the e-tron gathers velocity quietly and seamlessly is pretty much a non-function. Interestingly, the e-tron emits a whirring-like sound to notify pedestrians and other road consumers of its existence, when on the shift, as a result of external speakers.
Switch from D to S and this Audi unleashes the supplemental 48hp/103Nm in overboost manner, under tricky acceleration. When pushed flat-out, it gallops from -100kph in a blisteringly swift five.58sec, and with your foot pinned to the flooring, it will max out at 207kph.
The e-tron has two settings for electricity regeneration – handbook and automobile. What’s spectacular is how intuitive the automobile manner is when you carry-off. Not only does the deceleration experience as normal as in an ICE vehicle, it cleverly allows the car to coast to maximise the distance lined, or it recuperates demand and decelerates, all based mostly on the driving model and battery condition. What’s additional is that, if you require to lose velocity, you can tug at the still left paddle, which improves the intensity of regeneration and mimics motor braking in a way that slows the car down.
You can manually flip regeneration off or established it to two preset degrees. Interestingly, most of the time, even when you do use the brake pedal, the wheel brakes are only called to obligation all through fast deceleration, over .3g pressure.
Air-spring at all four corners makes sure a snug and nicely-cushioned trip.
Driving on air springs at all four corners, the e-tron soaks up road shocks extremely competently, and even sharper edges aren’t fairly as jarring as you’d have imagined in a car with brief sidewalls and sitting down on twenty-inch wheels The push modes change the ride’s softness, and in Comfort and Effectiveness manner, it will get significantly softer, ensuing in some float at speeds. The ‘Auto’ manner, on the other hand, balances the suspension’s conduct really nicely, with controlled overall body movements and no undue pitching or bobbing.
As the e-tron’s 700kg battery pack is tucked beneath the cabin flooring, its fat is concentrated decreased down, ensuing in a lower centre of gravity. That, moreover a balanced fifty:fifty fat distribution at each and every axle and Audi’s ‘quattro’ process, makes this e-tron experience extremely nimble from at the rear of the wheel, providing immense degrees of grip. Its inert steering, on the other hand, normally takes away from the ‘connected’ experience, but inside of city confines, proprietors will recognize its lightness, contributing to an quick-likely push encounter.
The e-tron holds its possess when it arrives to panic braking general performance. Outfitted with 18-inch disc brakes (entrance and rear), the e-tron sheds velocity from eighty-0kph, in simply 24.09m, which is extraordinary for this 2.six-tonne behemoth.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro: variety and charging
In our standard exams, the e-tron 55 obtained 350km on a complete demand in the town cycle, and 382km out on the highway. If you are functioning truly lower on demand, there is a ‘range mode’ possibility that switches the climate manage off, minimizes ability intake, and limitations the max velocity to 90kph, which can offer an supplemental 40-60km of driving variety.
We analyzed Audi’s 11kW AC wall box charger way too, which replenished ninety p.c of the e-tron’s battery (from 10-100 p.c) in about 8 hours. In addition, we also plugged it into a 25kW Tata Ability DC fast charger, and in a mere fifteen minutes, it equipped sufficient demand to add an supplemental 25-30km of variety, for Rs 106. Typical charging costs at house are likely to be about Rs 750 for every demand (-100 p.c), getting into account electricity price at Rs 8 for every unit.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro: really should you obtain just one?
In buy to get to Audi’s income goal of 200 units a yr, not only does the e-tron have to be a extremely excellent EV, but it will also have to produce as a regular quality SUV. As the latter, it seems the element, it is spacious and useful, the trip is excellent, and general performance is powerful. Becoming an EV, on the other hand, very long-distance touring will require cautious arranging, but as an city everyday driver, the e-tron is as excellent as it will get. A authentic-planet town variety of about 350km makes it additional than capable for the regimen traffic grind, and it goes about undertaking its work flawlessly. So, if it’s an quick-to-push luxury SUV you search for, just one which you’ll love driving without owning the slightest guilt of damaging tailpipe emissions, the e-tron makes a compelling case. And you’ll have to shell out about Rs one crore for the privilege.