You may say that the Audi e-tron is three years too late in India, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a total gamechanger for its maker in the country. The e-tron is the first electric car to don Ingolstadt’s iconic four rings in India. And this reason alone makes it an important, alluring product.
Before we get into its driving experience, let’s discuss some of the other bits that we adore about this EV. In a world where electric cars are marketed as cutting edge and futuristic sci-fi objects, the e-tron somehow manages to maintain a low profile. Instead of being overly loud about its electric origins, the e-tron adopts a restrained approach. In terms of design and outer appearance, the e-tron sticks to the regular formula and avoids the revolutionary road. That said, not all will find this approach equally appealing – while some may love its subtle design, others may find it a bit commonplace. For instance, some jury members thought that for an EV, especially from a brand like Audi, the e-tron could do with some more pizzaz.
With a 95kWh lithium-ion battery pack powering two electric motors – one at each axle – the e-tron’s powertrain produces 402bhp and 664Nm in Sport mode for a whole of – wait for it – eight seconds. In regular or D mode, the system is only good for 355bhp and 561Nm. What’s more, the SUV tips the scales at nearly 2.5 tonnes, which makes it only a few kilograms lighter than the moon – or, at least, that’s how it feels.
Looking at all these figures and numbers, you would think that the e-tron would get mauled at the racetrack by other cars, but, surprisingly, it turned out to be a completely different story. Despite the absence of an explosive powertrain, the e-tron’s performance is astonishing. The acceleration is brisk, if not ferocious, and it pulls relentlessly without any lag. Handling? Well, with a 700kgs battery pack stacked low under the e-tron’s floor, you can immediately notice that it doesn’t quite enjoy being hustled from one corner to another. But, the sheer grip from the damn thing – quattro, I mean – is unbelievable. You just need to point it in the right direction, plant your right foot on the floor, and watch it go! In fact, it was a bit of a surprise to see the e-tron clock the fifth-fastest lap time. And what’s more impressive is that it turned out to be quicker than the I-Pace around the BIC.
Interestingly, it’s not just the performance or grip that’s impressive. On the road, the e-tron is as comfortable as any other big Audi sedan. Plus, it’s loaded to the gills with features and has impeccable quality and fit-and-finish. What’s more, it’s quite spacious and practical too. So, is there something that lets it down then? Well, the pricing is a bit on the steeper side, not unlike other EVs, and it doesn’t quite have the driver involvement of some of its rivals.
- 2021 Audi e-tron (Lap Time – 01:09.1)
|RIDE & HANDLING||5||3.5|
|VALUE FOR MONEY||30||9|