2021 Audi e-tron 55 quattro India evaluate, check drive


Does Audi’s latest SUV have the practicality, efficiency and luxurious to again its inexperienced credentials?

We drove the Audi e-tron SUV in 2019, the identical 12 months it was scheduled to be launched in India. Nonetheless, sure provide chain constraints, adopted by pandemic-related delays meant that this full-electric Audi SUV misplaced its first-mover benefit to the Mercedes EQC, which launched in 2020, and the Jaguar I-Tempo that launched earlier this 12 months. These delays, nevertheless, may very well be a blessing in disguise for Audi, as market consciousness and acceptance of EVs in India is way higher now than it ever was. To start with, Audi will launch two variations of this all-electric SUV – e-tron 55 and e-tron 55 Sportback – each of which draw energy out of a 95kWh battery. The main focus of this evaluate would be the former.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what’s it like?

The e-tron is predicated on a closely modified MLB Evo platform, which additionally underpins the likes of the Q5 and Q7. This 5-seater e-tron is comparable in dimensions to the 7-seater Q7, stretching over 5m in size, virtually 2m in width, and a couple of.9m in wheelbase, thus holding a definite measurement benefit over the competitors.

The enclosed hexagonal space up entrance mimics Audi’s conventional grille design.

Audi has adopted a standard styling method (in and out) with the e-tron, so whereas it appears sharp, it doesn’t scream ‘electrical’ in its design language. This has been deliberately accomplished to make consumers really feel at dwelling as they transition from an inside combustion engine automobile to an electrical automobile. Grabbing the limelight upfront is an enormous, enclosed hexagonal space completed in gray that mimics an ordinary Audi entrance grille. The fashionable headlamps and 20-inch wheels add some oomph to its design, and for India, we get an ordinary outdoors mirror setup, reasonably than the futuristic, albeit gimmicky twin exterior digital camera setup, which we skilled in its worldwide iteration.

Lurking behind the alloys are large 18-inch discs which offer spectacular stopping energy. 

Uniquely, Audi has given a charging provision on both aspect of the automobile, and what’s cool is the best way the flap slides down electrically on the press of a button. Gifting away its all-electric identification are the inexperienced quantity 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 each side, on the entrance fender. 

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what’s it like inside?

Persevering with the traditional styling philosophy from the surface, step into the e-tron’s cabin and also you’ll instantly determine design traits and elements shared with different Audis, which isn’t any unhealthy factor. The sheer high quality and fit-finish on the within are top-notch, and there’s not a single low-rent space on this Audi’s cabin. The uncluttered, layered dashboard properly wraps itself across the cabin, flowing seamlessly into the door pads. Essentially the most placing element is the dual display setup – one for the infotainment and the opposite for the local weather management, each of that are angled in the direction of the driving force. The screens have clear shows, in addition to an possibility for haptic suggestions (delicate vibration) when ‘pressed’. What lifts the futuristic really feel of the e-tron’s interiors is the very good digital cockpit (full-digital instrument cluster), which is without doubt one of the greatest models round on the subject of show high quality and ease of use.

The design and hues are very business-like. High quality and fit-finish are top-notch.

The broad entrance seats have agency cushioning and also you don’t sink into them. The uninteresting gray seat color may be very business-like, and brighter inserts or colored stitching would have livened up the inside. Storage and charging areas within the entrance are aplenty and there’s a intelligent recess space to wirelessly cost your smartphone when positioned perpendicularly.

Broad entrance seats do not feel very plush as a result of agency cushioning. 

The rear bench is properly formed, and the backrest is about to a cushty angle. The excellent news is that, regardless that the battery pack has been accommodated beneath the ground, the ground isn’t too high-set, so neither are you seated in an uncomfortably knees-up place, nor has the headroom been compromised. The seat itself is broad sufficient to accommodate three passengers abreast and the ground is sort of flat; the protruding air-con console, nevertheless, hampers knee-room for the center occupant.

The rear seats are fairly comfy, as is the seating place.

At 660-litres, the e-tron’s boot is very large, and the house saver tyre is neatly tucked beneath the boot ground, the place there’s additionally an extra house to retailer the charging cables. What’s extra is that, within the absence of an engine underneath the bonnet, the entrance has an extra trunk or ‘frunk’, the place a small mushy bag or the charging cables could be stowed.

At 660-litres, the boot house on supply is spectacular.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what options do you get?

The e-tron’s commonplace function record consists of 20-inch wheels, Matrix LED headlamps, a panoramic sunroof, Audi’s digital cockpit (fully-digital instrument cluster), twin screens – one for the infotainment and the opposite for the local weather management – each providing haptic suggestions, a four-zone local weather management, adaptive air-suspension, wi-fi charging, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a reverse digital camera. Included as part of its in depth choices record are the its digital Matrix LED headlamps which have a cool trick up their sleeve – along with lighting up the highway very nicely, these additionally carry out a theatrical gentle present everytime you lock or unlock the automobile. The choices record additionally options an on-board air air purifier, fragrance, ambient lighting with 30 color choices, a 16-speaker 705W Bang and Olufsen premium sound system, head-up show, soft-closing doorways after which some extra. Options akin to ventilated seats, wi-fi cellphone connectivity and related automobile tech, to call a couple of, are lacking altogether, the panoramic sunroof doesn’t prolong all the best way behind, and customers who search deeper and geeky EV-related info on the screens might be left a bit short-changed with the oversimplified shows on supply.

Its panoramic sunroof is not fairly as giant as a few of its rivals.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what’s it prefer to drive?

The e-tron 55 attracts energy from a 95kWh battery pack, which provides vitality to 2 motors, one on every axle. In its sportiest setting, the e-tron generates 408hp/664Nm, 184hp on the entrance axle and 224hp on the rear. However in different modes, the e-tron makes 360hp/561Nm (170hp within the entrance and 190hp on the rear).

Proper off the bat, you’ll be impressed by how gently the electrical motors reply to the flex of your proper foot, and also you’ll even forgive Audi for not providing an ordinary creep operate. Press down a bit extra and also you’ll expertise what instantaneous EV torque means. A mere flex of your proper foot is sufficient to scoot previous slow-moving site visitors with the kind of gusto you’d least anticipate from a 2.6 tonne SUV. Acceleration is powerful and linear, and the benefit with which the e-tron gathers pace quietly and seamlessly is sort of a non-event. Apparently, the e-tron emits a whirring-like sound to alert pedestrians and different highway customers of its presence, when on the transfer, by way of exterior audio system.

Regardless of tipping the scales at 2.6 tonnes, it delivers sturdy efficiency.

Swap from D to S and this Audi unleashes the extra 48hp/103Nm in overboost mode, underneath laborious acceleration. When pushed flat-out, it gallops from 0-100kph in a blisteringly fast 5.58sec, and together with your foot pinned to the ground, it can max out at 207kph.

The e-tron has two settings for vitality regeneration – guide and auto. What’s spectacular is how intuitive the auto mode is whenever you lift-off. Not solely does the deceleration really feel as pure as in an ICE automobile, it cleverly permits the automobile to coast to maximise the gap coated, or it recuperates cost and decelerates, all based mostly on the driving model and battery state. What’s extra is that, if it is advisable shed pace, you possibly can tug on the left paddle, which will increase the depth of regeneration and mimics engine braking in a manner that slows the automobile down.

You possibly can manually flip regeneration off or set it to 2 preset ranges. Apparently, more often than not, even whenever you do use the brake pedal, the wheel brakes are solely referred to as to responsibility throughout fast deceleration, above 0.3g pressure.

Air-spring in any respect 4 corners ensures a cushty and well-cushioned trip. 

Using on air springs in any respect 4 corners, the e-tron soaks up highway shocks very competently, and even sharper edges aren’t fairly as jarring as you’d have imagined in a automobile with quick sidewalls and sitting on 20-inch wheels The drive modes alter the trip’s softness, and in Consolation and Effectivity mode, it will get considerably softer, leading to some float at speeds. The ‘Auto’ mode, nevertheless, balances the suspension’s behaviour extraordinarily nicely, with managed physique actions and no undue pitching or bobbing.

Because the e-tron’s 700kg battery pack is tucked beneath the cabin ground, its weight is concentrated decrease down, leading to a low centre of gravity. That, plus a balanced 50:50 weight distribution at every axle and Audi’s ‘quattro’ system, makes this e-tron really feel very nimble from behind the wheel, providing immense ranges of grip. Its inert steering, nevertheless, takes away from the ‘related’ really feel, however inside city confines, house owners will recognize its lightness, contributing to an easy-going drive expertise.

The e-tron holds its personal on the subject of panic braking efficiency. Outfitted with 18-inch disc brakes (entrance and rear), the e-tron sheds pace from 80-0kph, in merely 24.09m, which is outstanding for this 2.6-tonne behemoth.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: vary and charging

In our commonplace exams, the e-tron 55 achieved 350km on a full cost within the metropolis cycle, and 382km out on the freeway. In case you are working actually low on cost, there’s a ‘vary mode’ possibility that switches the local weather management off, reduces energy consumption, and limits the max pace to 90kph, which may present an extra 40-60km of driving vary.

 

We examined Audi’s 11kW AC wall field charger too, which replenished 90 % of the e-tron’s battery (from 10-100%) in about 8 hours. As well as, we additionally plugged it right into a 25kW Tata Energy DC quick charger, and in a mere quarter-hour, it provided sufficient cost so as to add an extra 25-30km of vary, for Rs 106. Common charging payments at dwelling are more likely to be round Rs 750 per cost (0-100%), bearing in mind electrical energy value at Rs 8 per unit.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: do you have to purchase one?

To be able to attain Audi’s gross sales goal of 200 models a 12 months, not solely does the e-tron must be an excellent EV, however it can additionally must ship as an everyday premium SUV. Because the latter, it appears the half, it’s spacious and sensible, the trip is superb, and efficiency is powerful. Being an EV, nevertheless, long-distance touring will want cautious planning, however as an city day by day driver, the e-tron is nearly as good because it will get. An actual-world metropolis vary of about 350km makes it greater than succesful for the routine site visitors grind, and it goes about doing its job flawlessly. So, if it’s an easy-to-drive luxurious SUV you search, one which you’ll get pleasure from driving with out having the slightest guilt of dangerous tailpipe emissions, the e-tron makes a compelling case. And also you’ll must shell out round Rs 1 crore for the privilege.



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