As far as all-electric cars go, Tesla’s been the talk of the town these days. That company made a name for itself with innovative automotive designs that revolved around electricity as an alternative fuel source to gas. And, while the brand has definitely been the frontrunner in that particular regard, other manufacturers have also worked out sleek, innovative, all-electric models of their own. Audi will join those ranks soon, as they’ve announced their first all-electric model SUV. The Audi e-tron, according to the company, is “the only electric SUV built with Audi DNA.” The e-tron boasts high-tech battery features, dual electric motors, long-range driving capability, and the brand’s “quattro” all-wheel drive. Plus, it will connect to Amazon’s Alexa, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Why Is This Important?
New car models roll out all the time, and though we enjoy cars around here, we don’t have time to cover every single one. However, we found a few things kind of interesting about the Audi e-tron. For one thing, this is one of the few electric SUVs on the market. While that term seems somewhat ill-defined these days, Audi claims that, with the right package upgrades, the e-tron can tow up to 4,000 lbs. The e-tron also has an off-road setting, just in case you want to take your electric luxury car muddin’.
The towing capacity is a compelling topic. Obviously, towing any extra weight is going to reduce your range, but Jaguar won’t even list a capacity on the I-Pace since it lowers the range so much. By comparison, you can tow up to 5,000 pounds with a Tesla Model X. I doubt most people will use their e-tron to take their Bayliner to the lake, but it’s nice to know you can.
The other thing we found interesting about the Audi e-tron came down to its battery. The 95 kWh e-tron battery consists of pouch cells that Audi has designed to save space and stay cool. The battery also has a dedicated cooling system that keeps everything operating optimally. Like Tesla, Audi has placed the e-tron battery on the floor of the vehicle, creating a lower center of gravity.
The end result of all of this battery innovation is a quick charging platform that will take an 80% charge in 30 minutes off a 150 kW high-speed public charger. Audi claims that users can travel up to 160 miles on an 80% charge. And, if you’re wondering if high-speed public chargers have made their way to your neighborhood yet, Audi has a helpful map on their website. Of course, if public charging hasn’t made it to your neck of the woods yet, you can charge your Audi e-tron at home in about 9 hours.
If we extrapolate that number, a full charge will get you right about 200 miles of range. That’s well short of what Tesla is getting (~300+ miles with the higher capacity batteries), but much closer to the Jaguar I-Pace’s 234-mile range.
The 2019 Audi e-tron series starts at $74,800, which probably shouldn’t be that surprising considering the brand. Audi aims to produce luxury vehicles, after all. However, if you’re on the fence about going with the Audi e-tron because of the price, know that federal tax credits exist, and you could potentially save up to $7,500.
We’re not quite sure when the Audi e-tron will officially release, but the brand has started to take reservations online.
Audi e-tron Premium Plus Features
- Dual asynchronous electric motors
- quattro all-wheel drive
- Audi pre sense city & side assist
- Matrix-design LED headlights
- Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium sound system
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- MMI Navigation with Virtual Cockpit Plus
- Top view camera with virtual 3D
- MSRP: $74,800
For more information about the Audi e-tron, or to reserve your own, visit www.Audiusa.com.