Audi's first all-electric vehicle since the killed-off, super-low-volume R8 e-tron, the e-tron midsize SUV will have a 204-mile range, according to a company announcement today.
By comparison, the just-announced Tesla Model Y (slated for delivery in early 2020) has at least a 280-mile range. The Jaguar I-Pace has a range of up to 234 miles.
If Audi recognizes the uphill battle it faces with the e-tron’s lesser range than its competitors, the company’s response is to stress that luxury cars are typically driven just 30 miles per day, on average. Audi is also claiming that the e-tron will have the fastest charging in its class, with a 30-minute charge from a public 150 kW charger providing an estimated 163 miles of driving. A quick 10-minute plug-in will give drivers about 54 miles of range. (Enough to hopefully make it home and plug in some more.)
Owners of the e-tron will also get 1000 kWh of charging, or about 2000 miles worth, at Electrify America's public charging stations. That’s included in the cost of the vehicle.
From a utility standpoint, the e-tron has 57 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, compared to the Model Y's 66 cu-ft and the iPace's 51 cu ft. With an optional towing package, the e-tron will be able to pull up to 4000 pounds. Air suspension is standard.
Powered by a 95-kWh battery pack, the e-tron has an electric motor on each axle to provide what Audi is branding “electric quattro all-wheel drive, ”with a total of 355 horsepower. In Boost Mode, which lets the motors draw the full level of current available from the batteries, that rises to 402 hp, allowing the e-tron to get to 60 mph from a standing start in just 5.5 seconds. Audi also touts its “revolutionary” cooling system that separates the battery modules from their cooling fluid.
Audi's MMI infotainment system has been upgraded for the EV to display the SUV's range on the navigation maps as well as suggesting where to recharge along your route. That information can also be displayed on the driver's cockpit display. The e-tron is the first Audi to feature an integrated toll module, compatible with the EZ Pass system, so you won't have to mount a transponder on your windshield. Also built in is advanced vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology like Traffic Light Information and Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory. Advanced driver assists include Audi's thermal-imaging-based Night Vision Assistant.
Another built-in feature is Amazon's Alexa so you can order things or listen to ebooks while you drive. Audi is also partnering with Amazon's Home Services division for the sale and in-home installation of Level 2, 240 volt, NEMA 14-50 chargers, which will be able to fully charge the e-tron in nine hours.
The e-tron will arrive at dealers in May, with deliveries to reservation holders to start at the same time. The electric SUV will start at $75,795, before any federal or state tax incentives.