2021 Audi e-tron SUV | Source: Audi

Electric Drive: The Audi e-Tron Crowned Best Electric Vehicle 2021

We’re entering the decade of electric drive. According to IEA Global EV Outlook 2021, electric car registrations increased by 41 per cent in 2020, and in the first quarter of 2021, global electric car sales rose by around 140 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

The fact is, electric cars are the future. For Audi, this means tapping into a growing market with its first all-electric vehicle, the Audi e-Tron. This isn’t just another electric car – the Audi e-Tron won the 2021 Drive Car of the Year Award for ‘Best Electric Vehicle.’

The coveted awards are amongst the most prestigious in Australia. Winners are selected from each vehicle released in the country over the past year, with over 500 vehicles in the mix. The judging panel is comprised of Australia’s most respected motoring journalists and experts.

Released at the end of last year in Australia, it’s a statement win on its debut for the Audi e-Tron. The awards also saw the e-Tron shortlisted as a finalist for the overall 2021 Drive Car of the Year award.

The underpinnings of the Audi e-Tron are fantastic – the technology, the execution, the fit and finish and the build quality are all first rate

Drive

The Drive car of the year 2021 is divided into two models – the Audi e-Tron SUV and Audi e-Tron Sportback in a choice of 50 or 55 Quattro engines.

Both all-wheel-drive cars feature an all-electric version of Audi’s Quattro technology in the form of two electric motors as well as an energy recuperation system. Inside there’s also space for five adults ensuring the e-Tron continues Audi’s prowess of combining performance with practicality and luxury.

When you look at the stats of the two cars, zero-emissions don’t seem to come at the expense of range or performance.

It felt like an Audi behind the wheel, with the same quality driving experience you’d expect from any other Audi SUV, just with a very different drivetrain.

Drive

Audi e-Tron 55 Quattro SUV

The Audi e-Tron 55 Quattro model manages a range of 436km on a 95kWh lithium battery and the 50 Quattro will take you to 336km on a single charge.

The 55 delivers 265kW of power, that’s increased to 300kW by a ‘boost’ function, launching the car from 0 to 100km/h in 5.7 seconds. The Audi e-Tron 50 Quattro only slightly lags behind with 230kW of power ensuring a 6.8 second sprint time and the smaller battery holds 71kWh.

Full charging time takes 8.5 hours for the 55 model and six hours for the e-Tron 50 variant.

Just a touch of the accelerator and it just surges forward. No lag, no building up speed – it just goes.

Audi

Audi e-Tron Sportback Quattro

The Audi e-Tron Quattro Sportback will take you slightly further than the SUV with a range of 444km. The same power output of 265kW, and up to 300kW with boost mode, as the SUV achieves the same 0 to 100 km/h time of 5.7 seconds. The 50 Sportback also matches its SUV counterpart with 230kW of power ensuring a 6.8 second sprint time but the 342km range is fractionally higher.

The top speed of both the SUV and Sportback is electronically limited to 200 km/h.

Step inside and the design is thoroughly Audi – spacious, stylish and with an abundance of luxurious tech. It’s a pleasant place to be with Milano leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and front-seat heating as well as extra legroom in the rear. In true SUV fashion, the Audi e-Tron 55 model has 660 litres of luggage and 615 litres in the 50 Sportback. Thanks to the non-existent n petrol engine, another 60 litres is available up the front.

The virtual cockpit, seven-inch high-resolution screens, allow the driver to monitor range, charge and power and access the myriad of safety and driver assistance systems and 360-degree cameras.

Prices for the Audi e-Tron 50 Quattro start from A$137,100 and A$146,100 for the e-Tron 55 Quattro including any additional on-road costs and fees. For the Sportback versions that climb to A$148,100 for the Audi e-Tron Sportback 50 and A$157,100 for the e-Tron Sportback 55 Quattro including any additional on-road costs and fees.

If you’re interested in reading more about the Audi e-Tron, have a look at the $30 Billion Audi and Marvel Brand. If you want to see how sports car performance meets electric sustainability, then the Porsche Taycan is the car to read about.

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