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

Gavin D’Souza

Audi’s own profile e-tron electric SUVFrom the beginning, it should feel very traditional so that buyers who transition from internal combustion will feel at ease. Whether it is the way it drives, the look and feel of its interior, or its comfort. This spirit also extends to its appearance, just like any other Audi SUV, but here, maybe not all customers will be completely sold. Electric cars, especially in India, are especially true in the luxury goods sector. It is both a statement about protecting the environment or being free of fossil fuels, as well as a statement. If you buy one, you want to stand out from the crowd! Fortunately, Audi has already thought of this and launched this Sportback variant of e-tron on the basis of the standard version.

Ahead of the curve

Of course, Sportback is what Audi calls the “four-door coupe”, whether it is in the form of a sedan or an SUV. It is transformed into a roofline that has been smoothly tapered to the rear of the vehicle, forming a more eye-catching form. However, it’s not just form-the roof is 13 mm lower, which results in a drag coefficient of 0.25 cd, compared to the 0.27 cd of the standard e-tron.

In other words, the front half of the SUV has not changed, providing you with the same large (although mostly closed) single-frame grille, sharp-looking 20-inch alloy wheels, ultra-thin digital matrix LED front lighting with four slats e Light-tron logo, each front fender has dual charging ports. The color of our test car-Plasma Blue Metallic-is unique to Sportback, but you can choose from a variety of paint shades. There are no frameless windows here, as you can see on Audi’s sedan-based Sportback, but looking in the past, the sloping roof really injects a lot of style into the e-tron.

Charging ports on both sides.

The roof bends down slightly, instead of violently hitting like the Q8, and is connected to the edge of the tailgate, with a trace of integrated spoiler, avoiding the need to install the spoiler horizontally on the roof. The strange thing is that there is no rear wiper, but the rear glass is curved and tilted so badly that on the test day when we were soaked by rain, there was not even one water accumulation there. Now the iconic LED taillights and light bars are more prominent in this trimmed rear end. In general, the appearance of the Sportback complements the size and proportions of the e-tron.

Article picture

The discreet spoiler is both beautiful and practical.

Open the electric tailgate. Although the luggage volume has dropped from 660 liters to 616 liters, you will agree that this is still a huge amount. If you need to run at the airport, it can easily carry several large suitcases. If you are worried about the back-seat space being damaged, it’s really not that bad. Yes, you don’t get a lot of headroom in the standard version, but thanks to some clever spoons in the canopy, there is a very comfortable space even for tall passengers. Legroom and seat comfort are also kept spacious.

In terms of equipment, it is the same as e-tron 55, so it can meet your needs well, with adaptive air suspension, matrix LED headlights, four-zone climate control, power steering adjustment, wireless phone charging, dual MMI screens And virtual cockpit digital dialing. However, there are also some optional additional features, such as a 360-degree camera, head-up display, soft closing doors and Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Electric gliding

Under the skin, the Sportback is the same as the e-tron 55 we tested last month. This means that a 95kWh battery is suitable for a WLTP rated range of up to 484 kilometers. Under our conditions, it should be converted to about 350 kilometers in actual use. It can be charged up to 11kW with an AC charger (22kW if you choose it when ordering a car), and up to 150kW on a DC charger. On the AC wall charger that comes with the car, the power is 11kW, and we found that it takes about 8 hours to charge from 10% to 100%.

The two-stage regenerative system operated by the steering wheel is an interesting technique. At its strongest setting, in addition to recovering the maximum energy, it can also decelerate the car to a near-stop state without stepping on the brakes. We just hope that there will be more real-time data showing e-tron’s battery power, discharge rate, key power consumption factors, etc., to provide drivers with more information. This is the key information in EVs, especially for new owners who are anxious about mileage, and the information you get on the dashboard and touch screen is too limited and basic.

Dual motors, one for each axis, produce 408hp and 664Nm, which are deployed on the road through Audi’s e-quattro AWD system, and the torque vector sum is almost instantaneous. When you flatten the throttle in dynamic mode, the performance will be lively, accompanied by a neat, artificially enhanced electric hum in the cabin. Although we did not have the opportunity to test this, Audi claims it is as fast as its more traditional brother. We The performance test was performed on this version, and it completed 0-100kph in 5.58 seconds.

Article picture

We are not sure whether the slightly lowered center of gravity of this Sportback will have a huge impact on the 2.6-ton high-riding vehicle, but e-tron has handled it very well. Thanks to the under-floor battery, the weight is concentrated in a low position, and it exhibits surprising composure around the corners. More importantly, the e-quattro AWD system moves so fast that it provides a grip that a purely mechanical Quattro system cannot provide; although, as always, there is nothing to write about the steering. This is probably the Audi SUV with the best handling without the RS badge.

The standard air suspension means that the ride quality is quite good, and the 20-inch wheels even have a fairly large 50-knot profile to prevent shocks caused by severe bumps. Although air springs do allow you to lift the car so that the battery pack under the floor does not scratch the high-speed circuit breaker, we have never found the need to do this because the standard ride height provides sufficient ground clearance.

Article picture

255/50 R20 tires can absorb impact well.

Quiet and stylish

By launching the e-tron in three different variants, Audi is quite clever. The entry-level e-tron 50 may have a smaller battery, lower power, and smaller cruising range, but its attractive price will attract buyers who want a green certificate and only use the car within the city. The e-tron 55 we tested last month is the best all-rounder, and this Sportback adds a bit of style to those who want to make a statement, but it’s slightly detrimental to practicality. The best part is that at Rs 1.18 crore (the former showroom in India), it is only Rs 200,000 more expensive than the ordinary 55 quattro, which is almost entirely an aesthetic decision, not a financial one. So, yes, if you are fascinated by e-tron, but feel that the standard model is a bit too unremarkable, then you can’t go wrong with Sportback.

You May Also Like