2021 Audi e-tron 55 quattro India review, test drive

Rodolfo Schellin

We drove the Audi e-tron SUV in 2019, the similar calendar year it was scheduled to be introduced in India. Nevertheless, particular source chain constraints, followed by pandemic-associated delays intended that this comprehensive-electric Audi SUV shed its initial-mover gain to the Mercedes EQC, which introduced in 2020, and the Jaguar I-Rate that introduced before this calendar year. These delays, on the other hand, could be a blessing in disguise for Audi, as market place awareness and acceptance of EVs in India is a lot bigger now than it ever was. To get started with, Audi will launch two variations of this all-electric SUV – e-tron 55 and e-tron 55 Sportback – equally of which draw power out of a 95kWh battery. The target of this evaluation will be the former.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what is it like?

The e-tron is primarily based on a intensely modified MLB Evo platform, which also underpins the likes of the Q5 and Q7. This 5-seater e-tron is equivalent in proportions to the 7-seater Q7, stretching more than 5m in duration, nearly 2m in width, and two.9m in wheelbase, as a result holding a distinctive measurement gain more than the opposition.

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The enclosed hexagonal area up front mimics Audi’s conventional grille structure.

Audi has adopted a common styling method (inside of and out) with the e-tron, so whilst it appears sharp, it does not scream ‘electric’ in its structure language. This has been intentionally completed to make prospective buyers sense at household as they changeover from an inner combustion motor car to an electric car. Grabbing the limelight upfront is a significant, enclosed hexagonal area finished in gray that mimics a normal Audi front grille. The stylish headlamps and 20-inch wheels incorporate some oomph to its structure, and for India, we get a normal exterior mirror set up, relatively than the futuristic, albeit gimmicky twin external digicam set up, which we seasoned in its global iteration.

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Lurking powering the alloys are significant eighteen-inch discs which provide impressive halting power. 

Uniquely, Audi has given a charging provision on both aspect of the car, and what is interesting is the way the flap slides down electrically at the press of a button. Providing absent its all-electric identity are the eco-friendly variety plates (mandated for EVs in India), and orange highlights on the e-tron badge and the brake calipers.

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Uniquely, the e-tron receives a charging provision on equally sides, on the front fender. 

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what is it like inside of?

Continuing the common styling philosophy from the exterior, stage into the e-tron’s cabin and you will straight away detect structure attributes and parts shared with other Audis, which is no poor matter. The sheer high quality and in shape-complete on the inside of are major-notch, and there’s not a solitary very low-lease area in this Audi’s cabin. The uncluttered, layered dashboard properly wraps alone all over the cabin, flowing seamlessly into the door pads. The most striking depth is the twin display screen set up – one particular for the infotainment and the other for the local weather command, equally of which are angled to the driver. The screens have apparent shows, as very well as an selection for haptic feed-back (gentle vibration) when ‘pressed’. What lifts the futuristic sense of the e-tron’s interiors is the fantastic virtual cockpit (comprehensive-digital instrument cluster), which is one particular of the ideal models all over when it will come to show high quality and ease of use.

article imageThe structure and colours are pretty business enterprise-like. Top quality and in shape-complete are major-notch.

The wide front seats have business cushioning and you don’t sink into them. The boring gray seat color is pretty business enterprise-like, and brighter inserts or coloured stitching would have livened up the inside. Storage and charging spots in the front are aplenty and there’s a intelligent recess area to wirelessly demand your smartphone when positioned perpendicularly.

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Wide front seats will not sense pretty plush thanks to the business cushioning. 

The rear bench is properly shaped, and the backrest is set to a at ease angle. The superior information is that, even nevertheless the battery pack has been accommodated beneath the flooring, the flooring isn’t way too substantial-set, so neither are you seated in an uncomfortably knees-up situation, nor has the headroom been compromised. The seat alone is wide more than enough to accommodate 3 passengers abreast and the flooring is nearly flat the protruding air-con console, on the other hand, hampers knee-place for the center occupant.

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The rear seats are rather at ease, as is the seating situation.

At 660-litres, the e-tron’s boot is significant, and the house saver tyre is neatly tucked beneath the boot flooring, wherever there’s also an further house to retail outlet the charging cables. What’s extra is that, in the absence of an motor less than the bonnet, the front has an further trunk or ‘frunk’, wherever a little gentle bag or the charging cables can be stowed.

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At 660-litres, the boot house on give is impressive.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what attributes do you get?

The e-tron’s normal function listing consists of 20-inch wheels, Matrix LED headlamps, a panoramic sunroof, Audi’s virtual cockpit (thoroughly-digital instrument cluster), twin screens – one particular for the infotainment and the other for the local weather command – equally supplying haptic feed-back, a four-zone local weather command, adaptive air-suspension, wi-fi charging, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a reverse digicam. Incorporated as a component of its substantial choices listing are the its digital Matrix LED headlamps which have a interesting trick up their sleeve – in addition to lights up the road pretty very well, these also accomplish a theatrical gentle present anytime you lock or unlock the car. The choices listing also attributes an on-board air purifier, perfume, ambient lights with 30 color choices, a sixteen-speaker 705W Bang and Olufsen top quality audio program, head-up show, gentle-closing doors and then some extra. Attributes these types of as ventilated seats, wi-fi telephone connectivity and linked car tech, to identify a several, are lacking completely, the panoramic sunroof does not increase all the way powering, and people who look for further and geeky EV-associated facts on the screens will be remaining a little bit brief-altered with the oversimplified shows on give.

article imageIts panoramic sunroof is just not rather as significant as some of its rivals.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: what is it like to travel?

The e-tron 55 attracts power from a 95kWh battery pack, which materials electrical power to two motors, one particular on each individual axle. In its sportiest placing, the e-tron generates 408hp/664Nm, 184hp at the front axle and 224hp at the rear. But in other modes, the e-tron helps make 360hp/561Nm (170hp in the front and 190hp at the rear).

Correct off the bat, you will be impressed by how carefully the electric motors respond to the flex of your suitable foot, and you will even forgive Audi for not supplying a normal creep operate. Push down a little bit extra and you will encounter what instantaneous EV torque signifies. A mere flex of your suitable foot is more than enough to scoot earlier gradual-transferring targeted visitors with the style of gusto you’d the very least count on from a two.6 tonne SUV. Acceleration is powerful and linear, and the ease with which the e-tron gathers velocity quietly and seamlessly is nearly a non-party. Interestingly, the e-tron emits a whirring-like audio to warn pedestrians and other road people of its presence, when on the shift, via external speakers.

article imageDespite tipping the scales at two.6 tonnes, it provides powerful general performance.

Change from D to S and this Audi unleashes the further 48hp/103Nm in overboost manner, less than tough acceleration. When driven flat-out, it gallops from -100kph in a blisteringly fast 5.58sec, and with your foot pinned to the flooring, it will max out at 207kph.

The e-tron has two options for electrical power regeneration – handbook and auto. What’s impressive is how intuitive the auto manner is when you raise-off. Not only does the deceleration sense as organic as in an ICE car, it cleverly allows the car to coast to maximise the distance protected, or it recuperates demand and decelerates, all primarily based on the driving model and battery point out. What’s extra is that, if you have to have to lose velocity, you can tug at the remaining paddle, which improves the depth of regeneration and mimics motor braking in a way that slows the car down.

You can manually convert regeneration off or set it to two preset concentrations. Interestingly, most of the time, even when you do use the brake pedal, the wheel brakes are only identified as to duty all through immediate deceleration, higher than .3g pressure.

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Air-spring at all four corners ensures a at ease and very well-cushioned experience. 

Riding on air springs at all four corners, the e-tron soaks up road shocks pretty competently, and even sharper edges are not rather as jarring as you’d have imagined in a car with brief sidewalls and sitting on 20-inch wheels The travel modes change the ride’s softness, and in Comfort and ease and Performance manner, it receives substantially softer, ensuing in some float at speeds. The ‘Auto’ manner, on the other hand, balances the suspension’s conduct extremely very well, with controlled system actions and no undue pitching or bobbing.

As the e-tron’s 700kg battery pack is tucked beneath the cabin flooring, its fat is concentrated lower down, ensuing in a very low centre of gravity. That, additionally a balanced 50:50 fat distribution at each individual axle and Audi’s ‘quattro’ program, helps make this e-tron sense pretty nimble from powering the wheel, supplying enormous concentrations of grip. Its inert steering, on the other hand, normally takes absent from the ‘connected’ sense, but in urban confines, homeowners will value its lightness, contributing to an quick-going travel encounter.

The e-tron holds its have when it will come to panic braking general performance. Geared up with eighteen-inch disc brakes (front and rear), the e-tron sheds velocity from 80-0kph, in simply 24.09m, which is exceptional for this two.6-tonne behemoth.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: range and charging

In our normal tests, the e-tron 55 reached 350km on a comprehensive demand in the town cycle, and 382km out on the freeway. If you are functioning really very low on demand, there is a ‘range mode’ selection that switches the local weather command off, minimizes power use, and boundaries the max velocity to 90kph, which can provide an further 40-60km of driving range.

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We examined Audi’s 11kW AC wall box charger way too, which replenished ninety p.c of the e-tron’s battery (from 10-100 p.c) in about 8 hours. In addition, we also plugged it into a 25kW Tata Electrical power DC fast charger, and in a mere 15 minutes, it provided more than enough demand to incorporate an further 25-30km of range, for Rs 106. Regular charging expenses at household are very likely to be all over Rs 750 per demand (-100 p.c), having into account energy expense at Rs 8 per unit.

Audi e-tron 55 quattro: should really you invest in one particular?

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In buy to access Audi’s income concentrate on of 200 models a calendar year, not only does the e-tron have to be a pretty superior EV, but it will also have to supply as a common top quality SUV. As the latter, it appears the component, it is spacious and realistic, the experience is outstanding, and general performance is powerful. Staying an EV, on the other hand, extensive-distance touring will have to have careful arranging, but as an urban everyday driver, the e-tron is as superior as it receives. A serious-globe town range of about 350km helps make it extra than able for the schedule targeted visitors grind, and it goes about accomplishing its career flawlessly. So, if it’s an quick-to-travel luxurious SUV you look for, one particular which you will delight in driving without the need of acquiring the slightest guilt of destructive tailpipe emissions, the e-tron helps make a persuasive situation. And you will have to shell out all over Rs one crore for the privilege.

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