Home / Features / Living with the Audi e-tron — Ringing in the New

 

Going all-electric seems inevitable from where we’re sitting now. How much has changed since electric cars first came about? We spend a week with the brilliant new Audi e-tron.

Audi e-tron

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Varun Kulkarni

 

The world is getting louder. It takes a toll slowly but surely. We all need peace and quiet. But what are we really doing? How much are we willing to change? Are we finally ready to charge ahead?

Advances in e-mobility are taking place rapidly and we are heading towards an electric-powered future. While earlier electric cars were small and rather basic, there is no need to compromise any more. Things have changed. Big. The new Audi e-tron takes the image of a compact, made-of-plastic, otherworldly-styled electric car and turns it on its head. The e-tron is handsome to look at and it is massive! It’s extremely well-engineered and looks just like any big Audi luxury SUV. Almost.

Audi e-tron

The e-tron is about the length of the Q8. That gives it commendable road presence. The closed grille and distinct design highlights mark it out as an electric. Other more subtle touches are the charging ports on either side, and the brake calipers finished in high-voltage orange. Its dimensions also make it very spacious for a five-seater. It drives both like and unlike any other Audi too. The feel, planted nature and assuring control are familiar. Yet, the silent performance and instant torque are eye-opening.

It was a Monday morning when, as I stepped out for work, I saw some folk around the car. Standing tall or sitting pretty? There were divided opinions. The green reg-plate was a talking point, too. The kids were wowed by the slick 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in thick rubber. It sure looks cool.

Audi e-tron wheel

My commute to work sees some challenging roads, including unwarranted height speed-humps and abysmal pot-holes, on a twice-daily basis. Tackling those is easy thanks to the list of drive select modes. They’re much needed, especially considering they work in tandem with the multi-chamber air suspension. The e-tron can raise itself up and steer clear of any unwanted contact. This route hasn’t been built with electric cars in mind. This is the real world; a world that has been built on oil. Yet, armed with a 95-kWh battery, and no fuel tank, according to the WLTP rating, the e-tron will go nearly 500 kilometres on a full charge! That’s reassuring, to say the least. It can hit the highway and munch miles with ease when needed. Plus, the infrastructure is growing by the day. There are grid chargers around at several public spaces and all Audi dealerships have a multi-car set-up. Peace of mind? Check.

Audi e-tron driving

My route sees a lot of traffic — well, it is everywhere! So, “efficiency” was my preferred mode. Not only does it recuperate smartly, it also minimizes load as needed and makes managing power needs so much easier. The climate control, also smartly managed, is excellent. Yet, on cold days with the winter sun shining, the huge panoramic sunroof is brilliant.

Audi e-tron sunroof

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible future.
t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia

 

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