2020 Audi E-Tron Review – Performance, AWD, Charging Time
With the 2020 Audi E-Tron, Audi will be entering the battery-electric future at the beginning of 2019. On a lengthy test round, the all-wheel-e-tron can prove its all-round qualities and show whether Audi’s first series electric SUV is already a full-fledged first-car for everyday use.
Two special features stand out: the selector lever and the virtual exterior mirrors. For the choice of the direction of travel and parking position, there is only one side rocker switch on the hand rest in the center console.
In addition, conventional exterior mirrors are missing. Instead, OLED displays in the door near the A-pillar show the images of two cameras. The more compact shape brings minimal aerodynamic advantages so that the range per battery charge according to Audi by a meager 2.5 kilometers increases. However, the driver not only has to get used to the significantly lower position of the displays compared to classic mirrors but also to the presentation. Even after several hours of driving, it is still difficult to capture the image and assess the environment properly, because the eye must focus here closer than before – in a mirror image, namely, the focus setting is at infinity, as with the objects beyond the windshield also. There are also problems with the camera image: Reflections in strong light or missing contrasts when looking through the sunglasses should probably be difficult to fix even in further developments. So if you can manage without these latest gadgets that cost at least 1,540 euros extra, you will not miss much.
Meanwhile, we sail to the first intersection and feel how the 2020 Audi E-Tron delays by itself, if the foot is not on the gas or accelerator pedal. The standard efficiency assistant also includes automatic recuperation, which scans the traffic environment and uses various data to control the necessary deceleration as soon as the foot drops from the gas pedal. Alternatively, the driver can select a total of three recuperation levels using shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The Audi realizes up to 0.3 g of deceleration via the E-machines alone, and only then does it support the mechanical brake. The transition between electric and hydraulic braking, unlike many other e-car is not felt for the driver, because a second piston always simulated by means of pressure-elastic element, the familiar pedal feel. More than 90 percent of all braking is used to generate energy and thus reach, the Audi engineers predict. In order not to overheat in the long term, the entire drive system must be cooled – 22 liters of coolant flow through a total of about 40 meters long cooling water pipes.
But the effort is worth it, because it brings even more benefits. For example, the electronics do not have to reduce the power one after the other, even at full load and several accelerations, making the short mountain stage in front of us a breeze for the 2020 Audi E-Tron – brake in front of the bend, turn in and pull through the bend with metered gas. The fact that the 2.5-ton SUV can be controlled easily and safely even at the limit is largely due to the new electric four-wheel drive. Within just 30 milliseconds, the control unit distributes the drive torque specifically to the four wheels, making it faster than systems with a mechanical clutch.
The driver only notices this indirectly. Because the system always ensures optimum traction, whether in sporty-ambitious cornering or in light terrain. However, starting off can take some getting used to for one or the other. In contrast to cars with classic automatic transmissions, the engineers deliberately dispensed with a starting element and thus the slow creep from a standing position.
2020 Audi E-Tron Review – Good performance
The necessary performance is provided by two asynchronous motors on the front and rear axles, which together deliver 265 kW (360 hp) and 561 Newton meters of torque. In boost mode, even 300 kW (408 hp) of system power and 664 Newton meters of torque are available for a short time. But even without the extra horsepower, the 2020 Audi E-Tron is on the move and feels surprisingly compact while driving.
The good axle load distribution of 50:50 as well as the progressive steering, whose translation is adapted to the steering angle, play their part in the agile driving feel. In a previous test drive on the loose ground, the colleague Lingner could move the 2.5-ton electric SUV to drift, in which the Audi e-tron “wonderful control with the very finely dosed performance” was. The extremely sensitive electronic control of the torque flow to the wheels clearly suggests that of a mechanical four-wheel drive and the electric motors respond much more spontaneously to load requirements than internal combustion engines.
Before we go to the short trip into the desert, we treat ourselves a small break and go to the change of perspective on the back seat row. Thanks to the 2.93-meter-long wheelbase, four adults in the 2020 Audi E-Tron travel comfortably and without pressure, and there is no reason to complain either about the seating comfort or the space available. The deeply lying between the axles battery helps to a good space economy with airy head and knees freedom in all places and normally annoying elements such as a center tunnel are simply unnecessary for e-car.
There is also enough space for the luggage. The trunk holds 600 easily accessible liters. The tailgate opens as standard electrically, on request also by foot gesture, only the luggage compartment cover must do without lateral guidance, which in this price class surprisingly cheap. In addition, there is a small compartment at the front of the engine compartment with a capacity of 60 liters – ideal for the charging cables – and, if required, the rear seat backrest can be variably folded to increase the cargo space to up to 1,725 liters. If that’s not enough, the e-tron can tow trailers weighing up to 1,800 kilograms, which is still the exception for e-cars.
2020 Audi E-Tron Review Interior – Very good noise comfort
But now go again, there are still some questions to answer, including long-distance comfort. Here the seven driving modes help to find the right setting for every situation. Among other things, this includes the height level of the body. While it can be raised by up to 50 millimeters for off-road driving, it lowers on autobahn hats in favor of aerodynamics and thus the range by up to 26 millimeters.
In contrast, the comfort mode, in which the air suspension smoothly ironed out any bumps, is particularly convincing when cruising comfortably. Together with the sophisticated sound insulation, which effectively reduces wind and tire noise even at higher speeds, this ensures a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, there are a few equipment options, such as the panoramic glass roof, the seat ventilation and massage function, as well as the ambient lighting, which should make driving even more comfortable.
2020 Audi E-Tron Charging Time – Fast charging with up to 150 kW
At least until the energy reserve from the 95 kWh battery comes to an end. On the extended test drive, the Audi e-tron approves about 31 kWh / 100 km with moderate driving style and a high proportion of freeways (at approx. 120 km/h). Since here the recuperation share is naturally quite low, so it says so tap after just over 300 kilometers of electricity. If you are traveling in the city or at lower speeds, you will come further.
After all, the e-tron can be the first production car to load up to 150 kW DC. Although there are currently only a few suitable fast-charging stations, the network is expected to grow soon. Alternatively, the Audi also charges regular 230 V household sockets with up to 2.3 kW or approximately eight and a half hours with 400 V three-phase sockets with up to 11 kW output. If you order a second charger, you can increase the charging power up to 22 kW. 2019 will also be followed by the function Plug & Charge, in which the car authorizes itself at the charging station.
2020 Audi E-Tron Price
Of course, that does not change much at the cost hurdle, because even the basic price of the 2020 Audi E-Tron is $ 90.829. But there is not only an SUV that is suitable for everyday use and fully electric drives but also brings all sorts of technical gadgets and novelties. In addition to natural voice control, which also understands freely formulated commands, Audi has integrated voice assistant Alexa, and from mid-2019 on there should be the option of over-the-air updates. Depending on requirements, various functions from the areas of lighting, assistance systems and infotainment can be added online – for a limited time or permanently.
2020 Audi E-Tron Verdict
The 2020 Audi E-Tron is more than just an e-car: With many technical gimmicks such as the virtual exterior mirrors, the voice control including voice assistant Alexa, Car-to-X services and the planned over-the-air updates Audi wants again profile as a pioneer.
The 2020 Audi E-Tron is particularly impressive in all-electric driving. Because he is so good that many of the change is surprisingly easy. In sum, he is a good all-rounder. This raises the question of whether an electric car really needs so much. The range is likely to be topic only for fast travel. Then it depends more on the infrastructure of fast charging stations than on the car.