The e-tron name has been known to the most loyal fans of the Audi brand since 2009. It was then that the Audi e-tron Concept was presented at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. In style, it resembled the sporty R8 quite strongly.
However, it was distinguished by the type of car, as it was made with four electric motors. In total, the driver was supposed to have a capacity of 313 horsepower, and a maximum torque of 4,500 Newton meters. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h took 4.8 seconds.
The name e-tron was supposed to be associated with the electrification of drives. The first series car to have such a badge attached was the plug-in hybrid Audi A3. It was presented in 2012, but was not released on the market until two years later.
We had to wait for Audi with a fully electric car until 2018. At that time we were able to finish the construction of the zero car, which was specifically named as the first concept from 2009, namely the Audi e-tron.
The premiere of this car was presented in 2015, again at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. It was an electric SUV with dimensions somewhere between the Audi Q5 and Q7. Stylistically, it was not very different from the car that can be found in showrooms today.
Recently, we had the opportunity to test the production version of the Audi e-tron, and specifically the Audi e-tron S Sportback. Yes, there are currently two variants of the e-tron to choose from: the regular and the slightly less practical but more stylish Sportback.
The letter ‘S’ in the name means that we are dealing with a more powerful variant of the drive. In this example, it was not decided to use a stamp that evokes many emotions, ie RS. At the moment, the only electric car with such a “difference” is the Audi RS e-tron GT, which we hope to be able to check out soon.
The premiere of the Audi e-tron took place in September 2018. It has already gone down in history as the first mass-produced, fully electric model of the brand. The ‘S’-badged variant debuted two years later, i.e. in September 2020. It was presented as the first mass-produced car powered by three electric motors.
The Audi e-tron with the letter S differs from the regular variant. There were slightly different bumpers and lots of silver accents. Thanks to the widening of the wheel arch, we have a 5 cm wide body here, which is very noticeable. As always, we also have larger 20-inch rims, which in our unit were replaced by 22-inch rims.
Such large wheels, on which inferior tires are stretched, should herald a poor ride quality. We don’t know how Audi did it, but the air suspension works well here. The imbalance is invisible and we can feel like we are on a flying carpet.
Of course, the interior trim also adds to the feeling of comfort. All seats are comfortable and have excellent cornering performance. The quality of the materials and their fit leaves nothing to be desired. Even if you find plastic somewhere, it is of great quality and the touch is not bad.
As many as three screens appeared on the dashboard, as is typical for Audi. One of them operates the standard cockpit, and two, the ones in the middle, control multimedia and climate. Driving is intuitive and learning the system does not take much time, and in other cars it is not so obvious.
There is also plenty of space in the back seat. Yes, due to the fact that it is a Sportback version, we have a slightly lower roof, but people up to 180 cm tall will not complain about the lack of space above the head. The journey will also be made more pleasant by the excellent sound system designed by Bang & Olufsen. This is an option worth paying extra for.
The trunk has a capacity of 615 liters. If you need a little more, then go for the standard version, there are 650 liters. However, you can fit a few very large suitcases in the Sportback. the space is very adjustable and of course you can expand it by lowering the rear rear seats.
One electric unit is installed on the front axle and two on the rear axle. During normal driving, there is rear-wheel drive and the front is engaged only when necessary. The front wheels get 175 horsepower and 139 horsepower to each rear wheel.
When using the Add function, these parameters are added over time. Up to 213 and 188 horsepower respectively. In total, the driver can benefit from 503 horsepower. However, what is most interesting here is the torque, which is as high as 973 Newton meters. No other Audi model has more of it.
Acceleration time from 0-100 km / h is 5.1 seconds. However, it is enough to use the function of the pick-up mechanism, and the car will do it faster, in 4.5 seconds. Not bad for a large SUV weighing 2,695 kg. The top speed is not so amazing, but it is common in electric cars. Here it was limited to 210 km / h.
The feeling of a kick in the back when you accelerate is great and can be addictive. The car also encourages cornering speed. With a low center of gravity and variable power distribution of torque between the rear wheels, the Audi e-tron S Sportback swallows a snake.
Along with the aforementioned air suspension, the progressive steering system helps with that feeling. Its gear ratio changes as the steering angle increases. Furthermore, if necessary, we can change the size of the permit. Maximum suspension adjustment is 76 millimeters.
There are batteries with a total capacity of 95 kWh on board. The key value is 86.5 kWh and theoretically it is expected to provide a range between 348 and 377 km. It all depends on weather conditions and driving style. When entering the road, the on-board computer will show you the consumption of 31-33 kWh / 100 kilometers.
Of course, it will look better when driving around the city. Then we can confidently go down to around 22 kWh / 100 kilometers. Reaching the maximum declared by the manufacturer is therefore possible, but only at low speeds. Remember how big, heavy and powerful this car is. That being said, it’s pretty cool.
The Audi e-tron S Sportback can be loaded with a maximum power of 150 kW. This means that filling the battery up to 80 percent will take about 30 minutes. By connecting to a 3-phase socket, this time will be extended to about 8 hours. The longest time, 47 hours, will last if you connect the car to a standard 230V outlet.
It is worth using the power recovery option. Recovery works well here, the car analyzes the environment and adjusts the braking effect. For example, when approaching a junction or roundabout, it will slow down a bit, but will keep you going. Use the paddles on the steering wheel to set the required restoring force.
There is also a heat pump on board. It recovers the remaining waste heat from the system and can, for example, heat the cabin with it. This is another way to reduce energy consumption, which is especially important in winter. This is a standard device and can increase the range by up to 10 percent depending on the situation.
Audi wouldn’t be itself if it didn’t come up with something interesting with lights. The Audi e-tron is the first mass-produced car to have digital headlights. Each Digital Matrix LED lamp is divided into 1,300,000 pixels, thanks to which we can prepare a very accurate picture on the road.
In practice, when driving on a narrow road, the light beam can only clarify our path, which can help the driver in certain situations. Of course, there is also a goodie that you can share with each friend. The car can greet you and say goodbye in one of five ways.
When you open or close the Audi, an interesting animation will be displayed on the wall in front of you. From the car settings menu, you can choose your personal favorite sequence, different for hello and goodbye. We have to admit that it is very interesting and gives us an idea of what Audi has in store for us in the future.
How much should you pay for the first electric Audi? The price list of the standard e-tron model starts from PLN 310,700. In return, you get a car in the 50 Quattro version, ie with two engines with a total power of 313 horsepower. The theoretical range is up to 339 kilometers (WLTP). The surcharge for the Sportback version is PLN 11,300.
Audi e-tron with the letter “S” costs at least PLN 417,200 for the standard body version, and PLN 428,500 for the Sportback. Our copy was well equipped, so its price rose to the value of PLN 571 220. This is due to the aforementioned Digital Matrix Led lights, Bang & Olufsen sound system and 22-inch rims.
If you like the Audi e-tron, but you are looking for a variant with a slightly longer range, then we recommend that you look at the Quattro 55, this car will reach a distance of 488 km. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h takes 5.7 seconds, thanks to 408 horsepower a horse. You will pay at least PLN 348,000 for such a car.
Audi e-tron has somehow started this manufacturer’s adventure with electricity. Soon after, the e-tron GT and Q4 models appeared. We know that this is definitely not the end of Ingolstadt electricians and we will see more soon. If Audi has managed to make such a strong entry into the zero-emission car category, we dread to think how good the next projects will be.