Audi have produced some of the finest ‘driver’s cars’ of all time, and some of the most brutish – think Group B rally cars of the 80s, an almost ‘anything goes’ goes formula, with over 500hp. The cars were considered so fast (and therefore, dangerous) that Group B rallying was banned in just four short years. It’s interesting to note that Audi dominated the Group B scene.
Today, things are a little different. We live in a world that’s thinking about the future, we want to sustain the planet’s resources, rather than shred them with 550+ horsepower 4WD monsters that drink fuel faster than an F1 car with a habit. What made Audi a rallying giant, now gives them the ability to help save the planet: Vorsprung durch Technik, roughly translated as ‘Keeping ahead through technology’.
e-tron refers to Audi’s range of all electric vehicles, no fossil fuel here.
Electric power has been a blessing for manufacturers like Audi – it gives near instant acceleration, with a throttle response that internal combustion can only dream of, even with the very latest and greatest fuel injection systems.
Power levels can easily surpass horsepower from traditional engines, it’s clean, reliable, and sustainable, and with a little planning, unbeatable for most applications and journeys. Certainly, if you speak to the un-initiated, they’ll throw ‘range anxiety’ around, but let’s be honest, that’s changing on an almost daily basis.
Currently, Audi offer two full-electric vehicles, although more are in the pipeline, and one of those is the e-tron GT Prototype, the car that electricity was invented for. It is stunning.
The e-tron is Audi’s first step into the BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) market, and rather than go all radical to show what they can do, they’ve kept it ‘normal’ – it’s appealing to the electric car buyers that still haven’t quite made that jump to the next generation of motoring.
Following up from the regular e-tron, is the e-tron Sportback, which although similar, is slightly more sporting (as the name suggests), and has more of a styled look to it – this is Audi’s answer to the Jaguar I-PACE; it’s different, but not radically so.
Essentially, there are three different motor specifications, e-tron 50, e-tron 55, and the e-tron S, these range from 309hp right through to 496hp, with a maximum range of 252 miles, and you can recharge 80% in around thirty minutes, which is industry standard now.
As you’d expect, there’s no shortage of equipment and technology either – there’s an option for virtual door mirrors, which replace the traditional glass ‘wing’ mirrors with a camera and screen. If you spec that system, you’ll have five different screens in the cockpit – two for mirrors, two in the centre console, and of course, the Audi Virtual Cockpit screen.
That doesn’t mean to say that you’ll be overwhelmed with digital information, or confused with the information at your fingertips, remember, the e-tron has been designed to be as close to ‘traditional’ motoring as an electric SUV can be.
The systems are intuitive, the information (unless you go looking for it) displayed is the information you need, it’s not there to showcase Audi’s electronic brilliance, so there’s nothing to fear.
As we say, Audi have taken the decision to try and make this as user-friendly, and UNradical as possible, but at the same time, they’ve included some neat touches, such as a charging port on either side of the vehicle (why more manufacturers don’t do that, we just don’t know).
There are onboard systems to help maximise range, or to give you some extra ground clearance when the roads disappear, but the truth is, staying in full auto mode with the systems will work for you 99% of the time.
This is the SUV that’s been designed to drive, and feel like any other regular SUV, only powered by electricity. The best of both worlds?
If you’d like to see for yourself just how … normal … the e-tron range of cars can be, then contact one of our friendly team to make arrangements.