Five years in the making, the e-tron represents the New Era of Electric Vehicles – and a new generation of Audi vehicles. The company’s first mass production EV was first delivered in May 2019. Since then, it’s excellent build quality, super looks and luxurious cabin have made it very popular.
For 2021, Audi has increased its range from 204 miles to 222 miles, which makes it a more competitive choice in a market where EV drivers often think of range first and foremost. The car’s 95kWh battery has been increased by 3kWh over the 2019 model. Audi did this to increase the Lithium Ion battery’s performance over the life of the vehicle. But the car’s biggest difference for those considering buying or leasing it is the price; Audi has dropped the MSRP by $9,000 from the 2019 model!
The e-tron comes in three trims: Premium (MSRP: $65,900), Premium Plus ($74,800), and Prestige (MSRP: $79,100). All three cars are installed with Audi’s – quattro – it’s highly-respected 4-wheel drive system.
Says Edmunds.com reviewer Chris Wardlaw, “The 2021 e-tron is one of our favorite luxury electric SUVs, essentially offering all the opulence, comfort and performance you'd expect from something like an Audi Q7 but with the power coming from electrons rather than internal combustion.”
Given that Audi is one of the best-selling luxury German automobile brands in the world, its engineers wanted to create a truly special electric vehicle worthy of the marque. To do it, Audi (a subsidiary of the Volkswagen conglomerate), opened a new factory in Brussels to mass-produce its new e-tron line of electric SUVs and the batteries that power them in a certifiably carbon-neutral manner.
The car operates with two electric motors, one per axle, fed by a 432-cell battery pack mounted in the vehicle’s floor. There’s an Axially Parallel Asynchronous Motor in front and a Coaxial Asynchronous Motor in back. The EPA has rated e-tron’s MPGe at 78/77/78 for city/highway/combined, and says you’ll save $4,250 in fuel costs over 5 years by driving one. This EV creates exhilarating 5.5-second 0–60 time and a top speed of 124 miles per hour.
Audi has gone to great lengths to take care of its e-tron customers via a 4-year, 50,000-mile basic warranty that covers the motor, with a separate eight-year, a 100,000 mile warranty for the liquid-cooled battery, which, unlike its competitors, can be repaired rather than replaced in most cases. The brand has partnered with Electrify America to provide 1,000 hours of free charging across its network of 2,000 ultra-fast chargers. Such ultra-fast chargers allow the vehicle to charge the battery pack from 0 to 80 percent in just 30 minutes when using its 150-kilowatt recharging capability. These are great incentives for e-mobility adopters considering a luxury SUV crossover EV.
Combining simplicity with beauty inside and out, this SUV crossover is visually stunning. At first glance, you might vaguely think of Porsche and Tesla styling. But a further examination reveals the e-Tron has its own special curves, aerodynamics and fluidity that set it apart from the other vehicles in its class.
This is a car that screams luxury. Leather seating, a dual-center touchscreen setup that splits climate control and general vehicle functions, and a premium 3D Bang & Olufsen sound system come standard on e-tron’s interior. e-tron-specific software monitors cruising range, efficiency, regenerative braking and battery level.
Other noteworthy features include a top-view camera system with a virtual 360-degree and curb views, parking and lane assist, a panoramic sunroof, and 12-way power heated and ventilated front seats with driver memory.
A robust thermal management and battery conditioning system allows e-tron to accept higher charging power than most fast charging EVs. e-trons come with 150-kW DC fast-charging capabilities that can restore 80% of the driving range in only 30 minutes. New owners will enjoy 1,000 kWh of free charging through the expanding Electrify America network.
Standard features for the Premium e-tron include Adaptive air suspension, 20-inch wheels, LED headlights, Leather upholstery, Heated front seats, a Heated steering wheel, a Panoramic sunroof,Four-zone climate control system, a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, a 10-speaker stereo with satellite radio. Two safety features are standard as well: Blind-spot monitoring and Lands departure warning.
The Premium Plus trim adds: an additional charging port on right side of SUV, Matrix LED headlights, Ventilated front seats, Heated rear seats, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, Wireless phone charging and an onboard signal booster, Traffic sign recognition.
Prestige adds more luxury features including: Dual-pane acoustic glass for a quieter cabin, a Head-up display, Extended leather on dashboard, console and armrests, Massaging front seats, LED interior lighting, Rear window sunshades, Soft-close doors (catch as they're being closed and gently pull shut), an Interior air ionization and fragrance system, Intersection assist (warns you of cross traffic in an upcoming intersection).
The 2021 e-Tron has an abundance of advanced safety features including: forward collision and rear cross-traffic warnings, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. Pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist also come standard. Additional standard safety systems include a rearview camera, anti-lock brakes, and traction and stability control. Daytime running lights and automatic LED high-beam headlights are also available. Front and side airbags are standard, but rear airbags are optional.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2021 Audi e-tron a 5-star overall safety rating, the highest designation. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2021 Audi e-tron Top Safety Pick+ honors, the highest distinction.
Says Edmunds.com: “The Audi e-tron has a lot going for it. As with rival EVs such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the Tesla Model X, the e-eron benefits from acceleration that is smooth, silent and swift. On top of that, the e-tron presents important advantages such as a large cargo area and a refined interior.
The 2021 Audi e-tron is eligible for a $7,500 Federal Tax Credit.
REWRITTEN MAY 2021
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.