Audi’s E-tron Is a Powerful E-SUV Without the Tryhard Alien Aesthetic

Go 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. Or drive it like a normal soccer dad.

By Alex Lauer

 
Audi’s E-tron Is a Powerful E-SUV Without the Tryhard Alien Aesthetic
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18 September 2018

Last week, we wrote about Mercedes-Benz’s answer to the Tesla Model X. “Expect to grow equally acquainted with similar models from all the other major marques over the next eight years,” we said. From from our lips to the car gods’ ears: today, Audi announced their 2019 all-electric e-tron SUV, now available for reservations for U.S. customers.

It’s been a wild ride to the finish line (and with deliveries scheduled to begin in spring 2019, we’re not quite there yet), but despite the glut of new EVs vying for attention, Audi does manage to stick out in one way: its, how shall we put this, Audi-ness.

In Seattle last week, I watched a ferry unload the most diverse range of electrified offerings I’ve ever seen: a Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Tesla Model S, Toyota Prius and Chevy Bolt. Drive any of those through a one-stoplight town and you’ll stick out like Marty McFly in the barn. Drive the e-tron, though, and you’ll be blend in with all the other mid-size SUVs.

That’s not to say that the e-tron isn’t sleek, or that EVs are ugly. It's just that the alien aesthetic accompanying many electric options isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

Audi e-tron (3 images)

Within this dad bod of EVs comes expected — but nonetheless impressive — power. While many of the powertrain output specifics haven’t been confirmed (horsepower, torque and range will be announced later), the two asynchronous motors (one on each axle) give the e-tron a 0-60 MPH time of 5.5 seconds, a top speed of 124 MPH and a max drive torque reached in 250 milliseconds.

As for how it handles? The e-tron debuts Audi’s new electric all-wheel drive. “In my personal opinion, the e-tron has the best Quattro drive we've ever made,” said Audi powertrain expert Joachim Doer, according to Forbes.

In terms of the actual electricity of the thing: AC and DC charging is built in, with an industry-first “DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations … [delivering] up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes.”

Audi e-tron 2 (4 images)

There’s plenty more to peruse over on Audi’s website, especially in terms of the three options available (Premium Plus, Prestige and First Edition), the base price of which is set at $74,800.

Yes, that’s a few thousand less than the Tesla Model X, and with more e-tron models on the way, ol’ Elon would do well to ease off the ganj and get back in the zone.

All photos via Audi

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