June 15, 2024

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The Ultimate Driving Machines

2021 Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro India review, test drive

Audi’s personal transient for its e-tron electrical SUV, suitable from inception, was that it really should truly feel typical, so that buyers transitioning from interior combustion would truly feel at simplicity. Be that in the way it drives, how its inside appears to be like and feels, or how cozy it is. That ethos also prolonged to the way it appears to be like, which is just like any other Audi SUV, but it’s here that potentially not all consumers would be entirely bought. An EV, specially here in India and even a lot more so in the luxury phase, is as substantially about earning a statement as it is about conserving the atmosphere or dwelling fossil-gas-absolutely free if you’ve bought one particular, you want to stand out from the group! Thankfully, Audi has imagined of that and has released this Sportback variant of the e-tron alongside the conventional one particular.

Forward of the curve 

Sportback, of class, is Audi’s time period for ‘four-doorway coupe’, be that in sedan or SUV variety. It interprets to a roof line that tapers easily all the way to the tail conclude of the automobile, earning for a considerably a lot more attention-grabbing variety. It is not just variety, having said that – the roof is reduce by 13mm, and this has resulted in a slipperier .25cd drag coefficient, compared to the conventional e-tron’s .27cd.

That explained, the front-fifty percent of the SUV is unchanged, offering you the very same huge (albeit mainly shuttered off), single-body grille, sharp-seeking twenty-inch alloy wheels, slender digital Matrix LED headlamps with their 4-slat e-tron signature, and twin charging ports on each individual of the front fenders. Our check car’s colour – Plasma Blue Metallic – is exclusive to the Sportback, but there is a huge array of paint shades you can pick from. There are no frameless windows here, like you’d come across on Audi’s sedan-based Sportback styles, but glance earlier that and the sloping roof certainly injects the e-tron with a massive dose of design.

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Charging ports on each front flanks.

The roof curves down carefully, somewhat than slamming sharply like in a Q8, and meets the edge of the tailgate with a trace of an integrated spoiler, eschewing the want for one particular at the roof amount. Curiously, there is no rear wiper, but the rear glass is curved and so greatly raked that drinking water didn’t accumulate there even after on our rain-soaked check days. The now-signature LED tail-lamps joined by a light-weight bar stand out even a lot more on this trimmed-down rear conclude, and in general, the Sportback glance is effective perfectly with the e-tron’s measurement and proportions.

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Discreet spoiler is aesthetic & practical.

Open the run tailgate, and although the boot quantity has long gone down from 660 to 616 litres, you are going to agree which is however a massive total, and it will simply consider a pair of huge suitcases, really should you want to do an airport run. And if you’re concerned about rear-seat house getting compromised, it’s definitely not that poor. Certainly, you never get the wide total of headroom you do in the conventional variation, but thanks to some intelligent scoops in the headliner, there is a a lot more-than-cozy total, even for tall travellers. Leg area and seat consolation, far too, continue being generous.

On the machines front, it’s equivalent to the e-tron fifty five, so you’re perfectly catered to, with the likes of adaptive air suspension, Matrix LED headlamps, 4-zone local weather control, run steering adjustment, wi-fi telephone charging, dual MMI screens and Digital Cockpit digital dials. There are, having said that, some optional extras far too, like 360-diploma cameras, a head-up display, soft-shut doors and a Bang & Olufsen audio procedure.

Electrical glide

Underneath the skin, the Sportback is the very same as the e-tron fifty five we highway analyzed final thirty day period. That suggests a 95kWh battery very good for a WLTP-rated range of up to 484km, which really should translate to about 350km in real-environment usage in our conditions. It can be charged at up to 11kW via an AC charger (or 22kW if you selection it while buying your auto), and at up to 150kW on a DC charger. At 11kW on the AC wall box charger that will come with the auto, we uncovered it took about eight hours to demand from 10-100 percent.

The steering-paddle-operated, two-stage regeneration procedure is a entertaining trick to participate in with and, at its strongest environment, apart from recouping the utmost electrical power, can sluggish the auto to a in close proximity to-halt without having you touching the brakes. We just would like there was a lot more real-time data showing the e-tron’s battery amount, level of discharge, essential electrical power consuming variables and a lot more, for the driver. This is essential information and facts in an EV, specially for new entrepreneurs with range nervousness, and what you get on the instrument cluster and touchscreen is considerably far too restricted and essential.

Twin motors, one particular on each individual axle, build 408hp and 664Nm, deployed to the highway, torque-vectored and in close proximity to-instantaneously, via Audi’s e-quattro AWD procedure. Efficiency is brisk when you flatten the accelerator in Dynamic manner, accompanied by a neat, artificially improved electrical hum in the cabin, and although we didn’t get a possibility to check this one particular, Audi claims it’s just as swift as its a lot more typical sibling. We did performance-check that variation, and it did -100kph in five.58sec.

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We’re not absolutely sure the a little bit reduced centre of gravity of this Sportback will make a massive change on what is a 2.six-tonne, large-using automobile, but the e-tron by now handled definitely perfectly for what it is. With the fat concentrated reduce down, thanks to the underfloor battery, it shows surprising composure around corners. What is a lot more, the e-quattro AWD procedure functions so rapidly, it delivers grip like no purely mechanical Quattro procedure can while, as ever, the steering is nothing to create home about. This could quite perfectly be the finest-managing Audi SUV that does not have on an RS badge.

Common air suspension suggests journey quality is somewhat very good, and the twenty-inch wheels even have a rather generous 50-area profile, keeping shocks from sharp bumps at bay. And although the air springs do permit you raise the auto so that its underfloor battery pack does not scrape on tall speed breakers, we under no circumstances uncovered the want to, as the conventional journey top offers sufficient ground clearance.

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255/50 R20 tyres soak up shocks perfectly.

Silent and modern

Audi has been somewhat intelligent by launching the e-tron in three distinctive variants. The entry amount e-tron 50 may well have a more compact battery, significantly less electrical power and a more compact range, but its interesting cost will lure in buyers who want the green credentials and use the auto in metropolis confines only. The e-tron fifty five we analyzed final thirty day period is the finest all-rounder, and this Sportback caps the range off by incorporating a little a lot more design for those who want to make a statement, with a small penalty to practicality. The finest aspect is, at Rs one.eighteen crore (ex-showroom, India) it’s just Rs 2 lakh a lot more costly than the normal fifty five quattro, earning it pretty much completely an aesthetic choice, and significantly less of a monetary one particular. So certainly, if you were being enamoured by the e-tron but felt the conventional design was just a little bit far too nondescript, you will not go completely wrong deciding on the Sportback alternatively.