Lease deals now available on entry-level Audi e-tron
One year on from the launch of the Audi e-tron, the entry level e-tron 50 quattro is now available to lease.
With prices starting from £365, the e-tron 50 offers a range of 190 miles from its 71kWh battery pack. This is around 50 miles less than the 95kWh e-tron 55 we have previously reviewed (featured below). Compatible with 120kW rapid chargers, it can be charged to 80% in around half an hour.
Alternatively, the battery can be replenished at home using AC charging – a 7kW home wall box charger is currently available at no extra cost to all e-tron customers with a full recharge taking just over 10 hours.
In spite of the reduced range, the entry-level e-tron has a lower gross weight which contributes to its efficiency. It also recuperates energy via its two electric motors, with priority given to the rear motor, during deceleration. This means that the energy from practically all normal braking manoeuvres is recovered and fed back into the battery.
With an electric motor on each axle, it offers a combined output of 230kW and 540 Nm of torque.
The introduction of Technik, Sport and S line specification levels to the range further offers more choice.
Lead-in Technik models (£59,900) feature 20-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and contrast finish bumpers, and inside offer heated and electrically adjustable front seats upholstered in Twin leather, MMI Navigation Plus and the Audi Smartphone and Audi Music interfaces, among many other fixtures.
Sport models (£62,600) are distinguishable by their 20-inch five-arm contrast grey alloy wheels, and inside gain features such as sport seats upholstered in Valcona leather, additional Audi Music Interface access for rear passengers and Audi Phonebox wireless charging.
S line versions (£66,700) are marked out by more dynamic styling and feature a specially tuned version of the adaptive air set-up for all e-tron models. The e-tron 50 S line also adds larger 21-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, privacy glass and Matrix LED headlamps with front and rear dynamic indicators. Inside, an extended leather pack, matt brushed aluminium inlays and a three-spoke S line steering wheel are among the features that further elevate the cabin ambiance.
Launch Edition (£72,700) includes the virtual wing mirrors – a big talking point with the e-tron – as well as full-length panoramic sunroof and powered steering wheel adjustment and various tech and safety updates in the cabin.
“This new version of the e-tron opens up the possibility of driving ultra-economically and with zero local emissions to a wider customer base,” says Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle.
Audi e-tron 55 quattro
Style-wise, however, it gets a much more conventional look than the I-Pace or Model X.Taking a similar approach as the Mercedes EQC; subtlety is the order of the day. You really could mistake it for any other SUV in the Audi line-up.
Up front, Audi’s usual sweptback headlights are present, as is the usual hexagonal grille that dominates the front of the car. 20in alloy wheels are standard, as are LED headlights.
It benefits from a slightly different design than combustion-engined cars though, as there isn’t a need for as much airflow. The grille is still functional though, with cooling inlets present for the front brakes. Along with a standard air suspension set-up, this is all meant to improve the car’s aero and therefore its range.
At the side, the stand-out feature are those “virtual” door mirrors (more on those later), while at the rear the light panel spans the width of the car, much like the new Q8.
Inside, it’s full of the same cutting edge tech that’s on offer in the latest A8, with two MMI touchscreens making up the centre console, plus a standard Virtual Cockpit LCD display that replaces the driver’s instruments.
A Launch Edition will be available that includes a black styling pack, window caps and rear privacy glass. It also gets Valcona hide leather, a panoramic sunroof and electric steering wheel adjustment.
For an electric car, boot space is impressive at 660 litres; that’s better than the I-Pace and significantly more than the 500 litres of space the upcoming EQC will offer, too.
The optional virtual exterior mirrors are much narrower than standard mirrors and reduce the vehicle width by 15cm. They not only reduce drag, but also noticeably cut the nonetheless low wind noise thanks to their new shape.
A 95kWh lithium-ion battery and two electric motors provide the e-tron with 300kW of power – around 402bhp. This means it’ll get from rest to 62mph in less than six seconds, although like most EVs top speed is limited, in this case to 124mph.
The battery packs sit on Audi’s new MEB platform – an electrified version of MLB (that underpins the Q5 and Q7). It’s the first of a new generation e-tron models that form Audi’s electric ambitions over the next decade or so.
It has DC fast charging capabilities of 150kW, enabling you to recharge the battery to 80% in around 30 minutes. That theoretically means it’ll be quicker to charge than a Tesla, which currently charges at 120kW. But how about range? Official stats are to be confirmed, but Audi promises 241 miles of range between charges.
Aside from fast-charging that’ll be available at plug-in points across Europe – the Ionity network being a notable example – charging will take around 8.5 hours via a 400V three-phase outlet.
Audi hopes that this initial standalone e-tron model will form the basis of a new range of cars, much like the Quattro all-wheel drive model did back in the 1980s.