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2019 Audi e-tron Review – First Drive | carsales

2019 Audi e-tron Review – First Drive | carsales

What’s got a one-speed gearbox, makes almost
no noise, but generates instant thrust? The Audio e-tron electric vehicle, that’s
what. And if this is the future, then sign me up. Now, this is a big, heavy SUV, yet the magic
of electric motors and really nicely tuned steering makes it feel very nimble. It actually tracks through corners really
well. This might be a big, fat, heavy 2.5-tonne
machine, but it turns really nicely. The e-tron can cruise for more than 400km
in virtual salience before its batteries need recharging. If you flogged the bejesus out of it, the
range will drop faster than Telstra’s share price during a network outage. What I like about EVs is that they’re peachy
smooth in operation, and this one is without par, it is so quiet. Coming to Australia in the second half of
2019, it will not be cheap. But you’ll never need to pull into a petrol
station again. You can charge it at home or at work, which
should save you time and money. The lithium-ion battery is one of the biggest
in the biz, but what about charge times? Well, they vary. Audi doesn’t even say how long it will take
to fully charge the e-tron with a standard power outlet. But with an 11kW-home charge system it takes
around 8.5 hours. It’s also one of the few EVs that can be
charged on a high-output 150kW fast charger and Audi reckons you can get up to 80% charged
in just 30 minutes. The Audi e-tron has two electric motors that
punch out a combined 300kW at full tilt. Now, it’s not the fastest EV in its class,
bested by the Tesla Model X and the Jaguar I-PACE, but it’s by no means slow. Mash the throttle and it surges forward with
inexorable pace. It’s such a strange feeling to accelerate
so quickly with so little sound. Audi’s engineers said the best speed to
get the maximum distance out of this car is between 50km and 80km and hour. But again, it’s not as rapid as its rivals. We asked Audi engineers why, and the response
was unambiguous; reliability. The electric motors are said to last for 300,000km. Standard features? Well, it will be packed to the gills with
goodies, although those sleek wing mirrors will likely add another couple of grand. The virtual mirrors also take a bit of getting
used to. You’ve got to drop your eyes a little bit
to get the right direction. The interior is typically Audi. It’s beautifully finished with leather on
the dash and the seat’s gorgeous too with some nice orange stitching to let you know
this is a bit special, a bit high-tech. The overall motif is definitely luxo-tech. It feels good and it looks good and I love
the fact there’s more screens in this car than a multiplex cinema. There’s no doubting this is a family SUV. There is a huge amount of room back here and
you’ve even got quad-zone climate control and the touch screen here is just beautiful. Plus, you’ve got two USB ports as well. Traditionally hybrids and EVs have always
had compromised boot space, but the e-tron is actually pretty decent. The modern-day EV is no longer a quirky compromised
machine. I’m not convinced that it’s a better car
than the Jaguar I-PACE, especially in a dynamic sense, but the Audi e-tron is certainly bigger
and more practical. Ultimately this vehicle is a statement of
intent from Audi. It’s a sign of things to come. It feels every bit luxury car and is a solid
first EV step for the German brand.

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