A Scarce Audi Lands Extra Range, Lower Price

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a scarce audi lands extra range lower price

Have you seen an Audi E-Tron (officially, “e-tron”) on the street? This writer hasn’t. Yet the electric Audi crossover has been on offer for a little over a year now, slowly paving the way for an all-electric future.

Available to U.S. customers through special order and to dealers who just wish to keep one around, the E-Tron arrived in early 2019 with 204 miles of EPA-rated range. It’s now back after skipping a model year, with two improvements aimed at broader consumer appeal, if not adoption.

For starters, the ’21 E-Tron can go further on a tank of electrons. Range is now claimed at 222, though the EPA will have the final say on that. It seems the vehicle can now use 3 kWh more of its 95 kWh battery’s available charge, eking out a greater driving distance.

Another range-boosting feature is the model’s newfound ability to shut down the front motor in regular driving scenarios, leaving the rear motor/axle to provide all the power. The front motor will come online when acceleration is needed, or when slippage is detected with the rear wheels. Can’t have an all-wheel drive vehicle copping out when it’s needed most.

For these improvements, Audi will ask less dough, which could be enough to get some green types interested. The model’s price sees a $8,800 haircut for ’21, stickering for $66,995 to start.

Joining the E-Tron this year is a new, coupe-ified Sportback variant. That model’s range is said to be 218 miles. If spending money’s your thing and class-leading range isn’t, you’ll be pleased to know that Premium Plus trims (of either model) carry a recharging port on both sides of the vehicle.

With Audi’s home market getting first dibs on the vehicle, sales in the U.S. didn’t set any charts aflame. The manufacturer knew this would be a niche model in that market, so it didn’t compel dealers to carry stock they knew would be hard to sell. If they wanted it, it was available, however, and certainly the same sentiment went for consumers looking to order though their local Audi retailer.

In 2019, Audi sold 5,369 E-Trons, with the first half of 2020 showing 2,872 sales. Volume took a dive in the second quarter of the year as the pandemic hit home, leading to a 37-percent volume loss for the brand’s sole electric model. The Sportback should see deliveries start by the end of summer.

[Images: Audi AG]

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2 of 14 comments
  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 06, 2020

    I'm excited about the Sportback, and I have started planning my acquisition process: Step 1: Find shorter friends and family.

  • Tstag Tstag on Aug 07, 2020

    Weigh it up. The Jaguar I Pace is better than the Etron on range and cheaper than the Tesla Model X. It has an interior that has buttons and proper wing mirrors. It’s built in a proper car factory and not in a tent. It scores higher on reliability than Tesla and Jaguar as a brand is now doing about as well/ badly as Audi on reliability. For me the I Pace would be my go to car in this sector. Second would be the Audi and third the Tesla. Why Tesla last? I like their models but the way they are screwed together leaves a lot to be desired. Too much even for a guy who loves old British sports cars.....

  • Chris P Bacon I had a chance to drive 2 Accords back to back as rentals. The first was a base ICE LX. I was underwhelmed. The next was a Sport Hybrid. Like night and day. So much so that I ventured on to the grounds of my local dealer. Was looking for a Sport or Sport-L. Autotrader showed nothing within 250 miles. Dealer confirmed. Told me I'd have to "get on the list" for a delivery, and there was a non-negotiable $3k "market adjustment". I guess I'll have to hope to see one on the Emerald Aisle again.
  • DungBeetle62 I just this past weekend rented one of these for 5 days in SoCal and with $5.29 the best I could find for gas, this ride's wonderful combination of comfort and thrift was welcome indeed. My biggest real beef is with the entire Accord product line - with that angle of backlight, not having this as a 5-door hatch seems a real waste of space.
  • RICHARD I bought my wife the exact car in the picture 3 weeks ago. Acceleration is average for the class. Smoothness of the powertrain, competent ride dynamics, quietness, and comfort are definitely pluses. The styling is restrained for sure, but we weren't looking for a shouty car that doesn't deliver on the design statement. She drives about 8,000 miles per year, mostly around town. At the current rate, we expect to buy about 16 gallons of gas per month. This really is a car that appears to do everything well rather than excelling at a few things to the detriment of others.
  • Ajla "2010-2019 Borrego"The Borrego only had model years 2009 - 2011 in the United States. The Borrego/Mohave did exist in international markets beyond them but the NHTSA of the United States would not be handling a recall on those. It's annoying that apparently the manufacturer, the federal regulator, and automotive press didn't notice this.
  • SilverCoupe The last Accord I test drove was in 1978, but I ended up buying a VW Scirocco instead. The Accords have put on quite a bit of weight since, then, but then again, so have I!