The Audi e-tron is a battery-powered crossover that combines the company’s sophisticated mannerisms and ambitious engineering. Once it goes on sale in early 2019, it will be Audi’s first fully electric car and size-wise will fill the slot between the compact Audi Q5 and the three-row Audi Q7. Although the e-tron has cutting-edge technology, it exhibits exterior styling similar to its corporate siblings—Audi did this intentionally in order to make it more approachable to mainstream buyers.
Engines, Ride, and Handling
Beneath its heavily creased bodywork is a 95.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that powers two electric motors, one located at the front axle and the other at the rear. Together they provide electronic all-wheel drive, but the rear motor does most of the work. In regular driving situations, they make a combined 355 horsepower and 414 lb-ft of torque. However, put the transmission in Sport mode to briefly unlock 402 ponies and 490 lb-ft. While we haven’t tested one at the track, our initial driving impressions revealed that the e-tron was swift and composed. Its snappy acceleration is typical of electric vehicles, and the smooth and quiet ride quality asserted its luxury pretenses. Its stopping system also expertly blended its traditional brakes with the obligatory regenerative brakes. The e-tron’s EPA-rated driving range is 204 miles, which is less than the Jaguar I-Pace (234 miles) and the Tesla Model X Long Range (295 miles).
Interior and Technology
The e-tron’s most impressive technology is its electrified systems, but the five-seat crossover also has a tech-laden cabin and numerous driver-assistance features. Its dashboard is packed with multiple high-resolution screens that include Audi’s digital gauge cluster—called Virtual Cockpit—and two flush-mounted touchscreens in the center. Of course, there are a variety of upscale options to further round out the e-tron’s sophisticated interior, which benefits from a flat floor thanks to its neatly packaged underfloor battery pack. An array of cameras and sensors support the available semi-autonomous drive modes such as adaptive cruise control and self-parking assist.