FIRST DRIVE: The Audi e-tron is an EV for Beginners



We’re somewhat late on the e-tron celebration, we have to admit. You’ve been quite a few test drives of the Audi e-tron — the brand’s electric car — around the planet already. However, we did finally get the change to give it a try only lately in some of the most gorgeous regions of California.

The trip started out at San Francisco, where my airplane landed. I was then placed to the back of an e-tron and then shuttled around Yountville, at the beautiful Napa Valley. It’s decent drive in San Francisco to Yountville, which offered me the chance to critique the car in the back seat; how quiet, relaxing and comfortable it really is or isn’t.

And I must say, the Audi e-tron is a fantastic car to devote a good deal of time inside. It’s near silent indoors, surprisingly comfortable and, due to that, really relaxing. I can spend hours at the back seat of the e-tron, no problem. The comfy seats, touch-sensitive weather controls and excellent material quality don’t hurt, either.

What you really want to know is the way that it pushes. I’ll get to that in a moment. Before we had the chance to push it, Audi wished to reveal what it’s like to really own and reside with the auto. We had dinner that night in a stunningly beautiful house, apparently slap dab in the center of a vineyard, with maybe the prettiest view from any house I’ve ever seen. There, Audi stuck an e-tron at the garage and showed us what it’s like to charge it and live with it. In addition we had a small demonstration of its Alexa capabilities, as an Audi representative started a Roomba with only a voice command from in the car. Cool things.

The following morning is if we had the chance to really push the Audi e-tron, as we left Yountville toward Lake Tahoe. Other journalists had pushed it before but that is our first moment. Not just a crappy original driveway, can it be? As we headed from Yountville, we drove through some really pretty scenery and decently twisty back roads. On these roads, the Audi e-tron proved to be much more fun to drive than I expected but it’s not a driver’s car.

Steering in the Audi e-tron is true enough and front-end clasp is unbelievably great. Though, the weighting is a bit too light for my tastes and steering feel is almost non-existent. The latter is to be expected in an electrical SUV, though, so I won’t really fault it for that.

Body movement are kept largely in check, amazingly so, and it is going to really hang onto a corner rather nicely. Therefore it doesn’t fall apart in case you push it hard. But it’s not just enjoyable to push hard, possibly, and it sounds as though it’d rather be driving a bit slower. This ’s mostly attributed to its weight.

The Audi e-tron weighs around 5,700 lbs, which is just enormous. There are elephants that don’t consider 5,700 lbs. Nearly all of that weight is down low though, in the gut of the vehicle, as that’s where the battery resides. Just that battery pack weighs 1,500 lbs, which is about as much as a track-ready NA Miata. Therefore it will have a low center of gravity for an SUV, and this helps it through corners, but there’s still no concealing its large curb weight.

Ironically, its weight is unnoticeable while driving normally. In fact, while just flying around, its lightweight steering and punchy electrical torque really make it feel quite spry. It’s just when you start trying to push it hard that its heft gets noticeable. Which is somewhat disappointing since there’s no ’s potential here for a sportier feeling car in case it wasn’t really hefty.

That burden makes itself known while accelerating, also. The Audi e-tron is in fact quite powerful as it needs to be. As a result of its dual electrical motors, it creates 355 hp and also 414 lb-ft of torque under normal driving. When you mash the accelerator, however, you get a temporary Boost Mode, which packs 402 hp and 490 lb-ft. That Boost Mode is available for eight seconds, which is more than enough to acquire the e-tron to 60 mph, as it will that spring at 5.6 seconds.

There are a good deal of fans that sew off that figure, because it’s nowhere near the neck-snapping speed of a Tesla Model 3 Performance. And that’s accurate. Its acceleration is about hot hatch-quick, which will be fast enough. But it lacks that sort of shocking performance we’ve come to expect out of EVs and it’s not for lack of electricity. With 490 lb-ft of torque, you now also ’d anticipate that the Audi e-tron to be very fast. Yet all of that burden prevents it from being really fast.

Still, it’s not just slow and its own “in-gear” punch while moving is surprisingly great. So during some lively driving, then it could punch its way from corners greater than you may anticipate.

Following our fun on some of Napa Valley’s twistier back streets , we headed to Sacramento for a few lunch and a charge. Admittedly, we didn’t really should charge, as most of our e-trons had over 60-percent battery left, a shocking figure thinking about how hard us journalists needed to push. We also likely had enough battery to make it on our destination at Lake Tahoe.

We stopped off to charge so Audi could reveal us the fast-charging capabilities of the e-tron and that was the true intention of our trip. Audi desired to show that the e-tron may be used for long trips right now and it is going to only get better as fast-charging infrastructure has improved.

The Audi e-tron sports a 95 kWh battery pack and is capable of charging 150 kW. More importantly, it’s effective at sustaining that charge rate for nearly its entire cost cycle. From around 10-percent to nearly 80-percent, the e-tron will control at 150 kW. That gives it the widest band of fast charging of any EV on the market. This ’s more significant than a lot of critics may claim.

Most other EVs can charge in their summit charging rate for just a small percentage of their battery. As an example, the Tesla Model 3 starts to drops off of 150 kW at around 45-percent. In fact, that’s around where most of other EVs start to lose their charging rate and most of them never achieve 150 kW at all. But the e-tron remains at 150 kW till 75-percent and then slowing falls off before its completely charged.

Some model Tesla Model 3s can control 250 kW but just from about 5-10 per battery. Following that, they drop off until they’re at the 45-percent mark and drop beneathe 150 kW. Plus, they’re only prototypes and just a handful of model Superchargers can actually bill them in higher rates. As it stands today, the e-tron is the quickest charging production EV on the market.

The reason that’s important is it means that you may pull as much as a charging station in just about any percent and get 150 kW of charging. You overlook ’t have to be reduced on battery, making finding a fast-charging channel simpler and planning your path gets more flexible. Which is when we stopped off in Sacramento with about 60-percent battery left, we were still able to control up in 150 kW. All of us wouldn’t have been able to at any EV.

Ironically, e-tron owners will need to find a fast-charger effective at the rate. There aren’t even a ton of them in the moment however Audi’s charging spouse, Electrify America, is working on adding a ton by the end of the year. Thankfully, an Electrify America jack was in Sacramento.  We had the ability to really test out these chargers and see just how fast the e-tron may cost.

While charging in 150 kW, the e-tron can recover 50 miles of range in ten minutes. Considering we just employed about 70 or 60 miles of range on how to Sacramento, we barely needed over that about fill up”. We let it charge to full and had some lunch.

Following lunch, we headed down onto the street but now it was mostly highway obligation on how to Lake Tahoe. The Audi e-tron is surprisingly easy to push. It s easy to hold at rate and its regenerative braking system that is intelligent retains the regen reduced at speed on the highway. There ’ s one that adapts to a driving, navigation trail and elevation changes to always keep it in a perfect setting although there are a number of regen manners. As it held that the regen braking back on the highway, making it effortless to push high rate, it functions nicely.

Following our highway stint, we led into the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains. There, the intelligent regen braking helped recover a few of the miles we utilized on the highway and worked. More importantly, though, that the Audi e-tron felt than at any point during the day. I was really riding shotgun as my driving spouse was at the helm from the Sierras. However, I was still impressed by how well it handled the fast turns and elevation changes.

On long, high-speed sweepers, the comes into its own. Its electricity helps it build rate and its own drive traction — thanks to some thing Audi requires “Electric Quattro” — makes it cling to the street. A few points were where my co-driver and I were nodding our heads in acceptance that is sudden, as its claws were pushed by the e-tron and flung out us of some high-speed turns.

When we arrived at our resort on Lake Tahoe, we’d already done a few hours of driving, however there wasn’t any fatigue. I have a tendency to have somewhat antsy and canstretch my legs and ’ t wait to get out. Not in the e-tron. Its chairs are comfortable, its journey is smooth and smooth and its cabin is calm and quiet.

The purpose of the trip was that Audi needed to prove its e-tron could work as a long-distance cruiser, particularly once 150 kW charging becomes more and more prevalent. But it’ s not only its battery tech and charging rate that make the e-tron a fantastic company that is long-distance. It s really a really nice car. It s a simple car to drive stints since it feels normal, such as another Audi SUV.

This ’s either a compliment or an insult, depending on who you ask. The e-tron detractors will state that it’s dull due to its normalcy. Anybody in favor of it will determine that normalcy was the purpose all together.

Audi meant for its e-tron to be the car that brought traditional Audi customers over . After spending some time I believe Audi nailed its objective. Something having a cushion mode the e-tron, in its touchscreen is most likely not for you if you re looking for something amazing and weird.

The Audi e-tron feels like a luxury SUV, only one that never needs to stop in a petrol station. It’s ’s an SUV for novices.

The post FIRST DRIVE: The Audi e-tron is an EV for Beginners appeared first on BMW BLOG

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