29/11/2021

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2021 Audi e-tron Sportback 55 quattro India review, test drive

6 min read

Audi’s very own brief for its e-tron electric SUV, appropriate from inception, was that it really should sense conventional, so that prospective buyers transitioning from inside combustion would sense at relieve. Be that in the way it drives, how its inside seems to be and feels, or how snug it is. That ethos also extended to the way it seems to be, which is just like any other Audi SUV, but it is below that most likely not all consumers would be totally sold. An EV, primarily below in India and even more so in the luxurious phase, is as significantly about making a statement as it is about preserving the atmosphere or dwelling fossil-gas-free of charge if you’ve acquired one, you want to stand out from the crowd! The good news is, Audi has imagined of that and has introduced this Sportback variant of the e-tron along with the normal one.

Forward of the curve 

Sportback, of study course, is Audi’s phrase for ‘four-door coupe’, be that in sedan or SUV sort. It translates to a roof line that tapers smoothly all the way to the tail end of the car or truck, making for a considerably more awareness-grabbing sort. It is not just sort, having said that – the roof is decrease by 13mm, and this has resulted in a slipperier .25cd drag coefficient, in contrast to the normal e-tron’s .27cd.

That said, the entrance-50 percent of the SUV is unchanged, offering you the identical significant (albeit largely shuttered off), solitary-frame grille, sharp-searching twenty-inch alloy wheels, slim digital Matrix LED headlamps with their four-slat e-tron signature, and twin charging ports on every of the entrance fenders. Our test car’s color – Plasma Blue Metallic – is distinctive to the Sportback, but there is a broad array of paint shades you can decide on from. There are no frameless windows below, like you’d find on Audi’s sedan-primarily based Sportback types, but look previous that and the sloping roof actually injects the e-tron with a enormous dose of fashion.

Charging ports on the two entrance flanks.

The roof curves down gently, instead than slamming sharply like in a Q8, and fulfills the edge of the tailgate with a trace of an built-in spoiler, eschewing the need for one at the roof degree. Curiously, there is no rear wiper, but the rear glass is curved and so closely raked that water did not accumulate there even the moment on our rain-soaked test days. The now-signature LED tail-lamps joined by a gentle bar stand out even more on this trimmed-down rear end, and in general, the Sportback look works effectively with the e-tron’s dimension and proportions.

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Discreet spoiler is aesthetic & functional.

Open the run tailgate, and nevertheless the boot volume has gone down from 660 to 616 litres, you’ll agree that’s nevertheless a enormous sum, and it will effortlessly consider a couple of significant suitcases, really should you need to do an airport run. And if you are fearful about rear-seat house being compromised, it is truly not that bad. Sure, you don’t get the broad sum of headroom you do in the normal model, but many thanks to some clever scoops in the headliner, there is a more-than-snug sum, even for tall passengers. Leg place and seat comfort, far too, remain generous.

On the machines entrance, it is similar to the e-tron fifty five, so you are effectively catered to, with the likes of adaptive air suspension, Matrix LED headlamps, four-zone weather handle, run steering adjustment, wi-fi cellular phone charging, twin MMI screens and Virtual Cockpit digital dials. There are, having said that, some optional extras far too, like 360-degree cameras, a head-up exhibit, gentle-shut doors and a Bang & Olufsen audio procedure.

Electric glide

Underneath the pores and skin, the Sportback is the identical as the e-tron fifty five we highway tested previous thirty day period. That means a 95kWh battery excellent for a WLTP-rated range of up to 484km, which really should translate to about 350km in authentic-earth usage in our situations. It can be billed at up to 11kW via an AC charger (or 22kW if you solution it when buying your vehicle), and at up to 150kW on a DC charger. At 11kW on the AC wall box charger that comes with the vehicle, we uncovered it took about eight hrs to charge from ten-one hundred percent.

The steering-paddle-operated, two-stage regeneration procedure is a pleasurable trick to participate in with and, at its strongest location, apart from recouping the highest power, can slow the vehicle to a near-halt without the need of you touching the brakes. We just would like there was more authentic-time information demonstrating the e-tron’s battery degree, charge of discharge, critical electricity consuming things and more, for the driver. This is critical info in an EV, primarily for new house owners with range stress, and what you get on the instrument cluster and touchscreen is considerably far too confined and fundamental.

Twin motors, one on every axle, establish 408hp and 664Nm, deployed to the highway, torque-vectored and near-instantaneously, via Audi’s e-quattro AWD procedure. Efficiency is brisk when you flatten the accelerator in Dynamic mode, accompanied by a neat, artificially enhanced electric hum in the cabin, and nevertheless we did not get a probability to test this one, Audi claims it is just as fast as its more conventional sibling. We did general performance-test that model, and it did -100kph in five.58sec.

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We’re not confident the a bit decreased centre of gravity of this Sportback would make a enormous big difference on what is a 2.six-tonne, higher-using car or truck, but the e-tron presently managed truly effectively for what it is. With the bodyweight concentrated decrease down, many thanks to the underfloor battery, it exhibits stunning composure close to corners. What is more, the e-quattro AWD procedure acts so swiftly, it gives grip like no purely mechanical Quattro procedure can whilst, as at any time, the steering is practically nothing to write dwelling about. This could incredibly effectively be the most effective-handling Audi SUV that doesn’t put on an RS badge.

Typical air suspension means trip good quality is instead excellent, and the twenty-inch wheels even have a very generous 50-portion profile, trying to keep shocks from sharp bumps at bay. And nevertheless the air springs do let you raise the vehicle so that its underfloor battery pack doesn’t scrape on tall pace breakers, we never ever uncovered the need to, as the normal trip height presents sufficient ground clearance.

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255/50 R20 tyres soak up shocks effectively.

Silent and sleek

Audi has been instead clever by launching the e-tron in three unique variants. The entry degree e-tron 50 may have a scaled-down battery, much less electricity and a scaled-down range, but its eye-catching price will lure in prospective buyers who want the eco-friendly qualifications and use the vehicle in metropolis confines only. The e-tron fifty five we tested previous thirty day period is the most effective all-rounder, and this Sportback caps the range off by introducing a minimal more fashion for those who want to make a statement, with a tiny penalty to practicality. The most effective component is, at Rs one.18 crore (ex-showroom, India) it is just Rs 2 lakh more high-priced than the normal fifty five quattro, making it almost solely an aesthetic decision, and much less of a financial one. So indeed, if you were enamoured by the e-tron but felt the normal model was just a bit far too nondescript, you won’t go erroneous deciding on the Sportback instead.

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