After officially showcasing it late last year at a special preview in San Francisco, Audi has officially launched the e-tron for select markets. The all-electric SUV is now available in the UK, with prices starting at £71,490 (Rs 65.62 lakhs) on-road.
The e-tron is a new five-seater SUV that will be followed by at least 11 more fully electric Audi models between now and 2025. A 95kWh battery mounted beneath the passenger compartment is the lifeblood. It feeds two electric motors – one per axle – which jointly deliver an output of up to 400bhp.
First showcased at 2018 Geneva Motor Show in the concept guise, the e-tron looks like yet another member of Audi’s Q family. The e-tron is almost similar to the new-gen Q5 in terms of dimensions. The proportions and styling are unmistakably that of an Audi with a massive grille up front and Q3-like headlights. The rear takes inspiration from the new flagship, the Q8, with a raked D-pillar and LED panel of taillights running across the tailgate. One new feature is the mirrors, which are sleek camera units instead of conventional ORVMs. Audi claims that the E-Tron prototype has an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.28, which is the lowest for any SUV till date.
Audi claims an electric range of 400kilometres which is still under homologation and we can expect a range of almost 450kilometres as well (under the new WLTP cycle). The five-seater EV from Audi can also recover braking energy which was tested at Pikes Peak and resulted in a boost of up to 30 per cent in the driving range.
The E-Tron is amongst the new breed of electric SUVs and it will go up against the Tesla Model X, Jaguar iPace, recently revealed Mercedes-Benz EQC and other upcoming similar products based on the concepts like BMW Vision iNEXT and Skoda Vision E.
For the past two weeks the e-tron has been available to order for prospective owners who took advantage of the Audi UK deposit scheme. These depositors have been given early access to the two e-tron variants, and also a third, the Edition 1, featuring a unique specification that goes beyond the Launch Edition. A total of thirty examples of the Edition 1 are earmarked for the UK, all of which have now been reserved.