With the e-Tron range, Audi reveal their first forays into electric vehicles…. And they’re good.
After so many years of petrolheaded fun, even Lusso has to grudgingly admit that things have to change. Improvements in fuel consumption were the start, hybrids the second step – anything that helped extend the mileage your average gallon of fossil fuel, basically – and now, like Dylan, we’re going electric. Sure that opens all sorts of discussion about how the electricity you use is generated but that’s a subject for another article by someone more handwringing and Guardian-esque. We’re just, as ever, going to focus on the cars.
With a range of about 300 miles, the Audi e-Trons aren’t going to get you to Scotland (well, not unless you live in Newcastle) but they do have some advantages, such as instant power. And we mean instant: the RS e-tron GT packs 646 horsepower and boasts acceleration from 0 to 62mph in 3.3 seconds, while the e-tron GT delivers horsepower of 476 and that 0-62mph target in 4.1 seconds. We didn’t test that with any degree of accuracy but the volume of the “fuck me!” that escaped the lips would appear to back up the maker’s claims. Distance may be limited but for town / short trips, these are (very) nippy and fun.
And then there’s the most obvious advantage. Audi is not Tesla. Yeah, yeah, we’re sure they’re fine but, well, Elon Musk…
Should your electricity still be coal-based, the Audi e-Trons give you some other ways of pushing back against any passing cynics. Production is carbon-neutral, and you can even choose a leather-free interior made of recycled materials.
From the outside, they look like Audis. Or, possibly, VWs from a certain angle but hell, doesn’t nearly everything these days? There are, of course, all sorts of design flourishes, and the e-Trons’ spec is full of talk of how the “elongated bonnet and flat windscreen merge elegantly into a rapidly sloping roof line,” “gently inclined C-pillars” that “blend beautifully with the body’s muscular shoulders,” and how the “light, lean instrument panel with its pronounced three-dimensional look forms an elegant arc.” If such things float your proverbial, go to it… Just don’t do the wing mirror / camera option.
No. Really. If there’s anything that is guaranteed to make you look like a dick, it’s the wing mirror cameras. The wing mirrors work well, like wing mirrors have for decades. However, for a grand, you can replace them with cameras on stalks and screens which: a) shows you have more money than sense; b) serve exactly the same function as wing mirrors; and c) are, basically, a badge that says “I AM A DICK.”
Anyway, aside from that. These are decent vehicles, they come with inbuilt smugness, they’re not Teslas, they’re nippy, efficient… Vorsprung Durch Electro Technik. As they possibly now say in Germany.
The Audi e-Trons are available from £62,025 to £85.825. For further details, visit the Audi website.