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]
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.....
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