The Audi e-tron 50 is currently the German manufacturer’s entry-level BEV offering within Australia. The e-tron also comes in a more powerful and longer-range e-tron 55 variant with a 300 kW combined output and 95kWh battery. The e-tron 50 makes do with 230kW and a 71kWh battery. There’s also a Sportback variant which aims to appeal to those who prefer the coupe design aesthetic, but with largely the same specifications and options.
Although based loosely on Audi’s ICEV Q7, the e-tron 50 and 55 are unique EV offerings from Audi, in that there is no petrol equivalent. But the design language has remained fairly conventional, sticking to type with things like the grille and interior design.
Inside the Audi e-tron you get the now-familiar “Virtual Cockpit” screen in front of you, along with dual screens on the side that make up the rest of the infotainment. The only real differentiator that this is an EV Audi is the slightly unconventional gear selector placed near the palm rest. Otherwise, the interior is very spacious, with ample room for families. Like the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-Pace it competes with, the e-tron lacks the option of 7-seats as offered by the Tesla Model X. However, the e-tron does have an ample boot; at 660 litres, it’s larger than all three of the aforementioned competitors.
Power is derived from a dual-motor set-up which provides the e-tron 50 with all-wheel-drive, which Audi has happily coined “Electric Quattro”. Being the less-powerful variant of e-tron, it should come as no surprise that the 50 is slower than the 55. But with a 0-100km/h time of 6.8 seconds, the e-tron 50 is decidedly sluggish in the face of the competition.
The news doesn’t get better when it comes to range either. With a smaller 71kWh battery and its relatively low efficiency, the real-world range of the e-tron 50 is 280km (339km claimed). The cheaper Mercedes-Benz EQC — at $144,470 driveaway vs the e-tron 50’s $149,800 — not only has a larger battery, but is more efficient too, delivering a real-world range in the region of 370km (464km claimed).
However, there is one ace up the e-tron’s sleeve: a complimentary 6-year ChargeFox subscription, which 1-ups the offer given to Mercedes-Benz customers by a whole year. This is further enhanced by the 6-year Audi Scheduled Service plan as well as 6 years of Audi Roadside Assistance. That’s in addition to a 5-year warranty, with 8 years on the battery.