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LIVE 24-SEVEN THE ALL NEW E-TRON AUDI’S FIRST EVER ALL ELECTRIC VEHICLE


We all know this person. The quiet and confident type that doesn’t feel the need to shout or seek attention. They just get on with things, quietly and effectively.


In fact after a few days driving it, quiet is the perfect word to describe the all new e-tron, Audi’s first ever all electric vehicle now available to test drive at Listers Audi Birmingham, Coventry, Stratford and Worcester.


Despite the revolutionary powertrain, everything else about it is deliberately familiar. From the exterior design to the way you operate the impeccably sharp and intuitive virtual cockpit and MMI navigation systems which are lifted pretty much straight from the new A7 and A8. It doesn’t set out to be radical and attract attention like a certain American competitor. This car is designed to do one thing, persuade existing SUV buyers that currently buy the brands vehicles to make the jump to electric propulsion.


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Size wise, it sits between a Q7 and Q5 and being true to the ‘conventional’ objective sits on the same (although heavily revised) MQB platform. Power wise it wears a meaty ‘55’ badge in Audi’s power output designation. There’s an electric motor on each axle, powered by a 95kWh lithium ion battery. In old money that’s 355 bhp or 402 in ‘boost’ mode. Make no mistake, despite its near 2.5 tonne weight the e-tron is a fast car, especially off the mark where power is delivered instantly.


Now we get to the touchy subject were electric vehicles are concerned. Range and charge time. According to the new official WLTP test process, the e-tron will cover 241 miles on one charge. In my time with it over a mix of A and B roads, city driving around Birmingham and doing the usual collecting kids from school and supermarket trips I covered just over 130 miles with the car saying another 75 was possible when I gave it back, so


this claimed figure looks not far off the mark.


It’s a car that’s clearly attracting consumer attention. There are 1,000 orders already for the car in the UK, 20,000 globally. Residual values are strong which is important for PCP buyers - predicted at 62% after 3yrs/30,000 miles (I-Pace 58%, Model X 50%) and daily running costs as far as fuel goes will be better than an equivalent petrol or diesel engine that usually powers these type of cars. The e-tron also qualifies for the £3,500 government grant for electric vehicles and rather handily, features charge points on both front wings that can accept a 150kw charger, meaning an 80% charge can theoretically be achieved in 30 minutes. You’re more likely to be charging at home, though, probably at 11kw, although Audi offers an optional 22kw fast charger which will get to 80% in around 4 hours.


Where the E-tron really impresses though is in the traditional Audi strong holds of ride comfort, interior quality and technology. Unlike the Jaguar I-Pace, the e-tron comes with the brilliant adaptive air suspension as standard, and this combined with the fact Audi seem to never prioritise sharp-handling or an overly sporty ride in its SUV range, makes for an astonishly relaxing car to drive. My car also came with optional acoustic glazing for the side windows reducing noise to barely detectable levels.


SHOULD YOU BUY ONE? If you are looking to take a step into this new world, the e-tron is a very safe one to take. There is a huge amount to be attracted by, particularly how easily and quickly the e-tron is understood for a new to electric driver and is reassuringly well built (it is an Audi after all). I would recommend a test drive to properly find out if an electric powered vehicle is for you.


LIVE24-SEVEN.COM


MOTORING, SPORT & ENTERTAINMENT AUDI E - TRON


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