The Audi e-tron 55 is the most powerful version of e-tron, and also features a larger battery for extended range. It sports two motors that, combined, give it 300kWs as opposed to the 230kW found in the e-tron 50. Battery capacity increases from 71kWh to 95kWh.
Other than the motor and battery combinations, the e-tron 50 and 55 are roughly the same, save for some minor spec differences. They’re both loosely based on the underpinnings of the Q7, but feature unique styling. This means you’ll find useful EV-design benefits, such as a “frunk/froot” storage area underneath the bonnet.
The space inside is well-thought-out and doesn’t suffer from the typical packaging drawbacks that battery-laden EVs sometimes have. What you get is ample space for a family of five, with one of the largest cargo areas in its class.
The interior features Audi’s much-praised virtual cockpit, with an additional array of dual screens in the centre. These screens have haptic feedback, which goes some way in confirming inputs, but still falls short of the tactility given by proper physical buttons.
The e-tron range has the $3400 option of virtual exterior mirrors and is one of the first cars in Australia to offer this. With this, the traditional mirrors are replaced with small cameras that are mounted in aerodynamic mounts on the doors. This reduces drag but can take some getting used to — instead of looking where you normally would, the rear displays are mounted in the doors, below your usual viewpoint.
With all-wheel drive, courtesy of the dual-motor setup, the Audi e-tron 55 performs well but isn’t blisteringly fast by EV standards. With a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds, it’s slower than the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace.
The range is improved over the lacklustre e-tron 50. But with a real-world range of 350kms (417km claimed), it also has less range than its competitors. This could be down to a relatively inefficient rate of consumption.
The Audi e-tron 55 is costlier than all main rivals bar the Tesla Model X. At $159,200 drive away, it costs more than even the relatively expensive Jaguar I-Pace. But there’s one benefit that e-tron ownership has that thus far no other competitor can match: a complimentary 6-year ChargeFox subscription, allowing free charging at ChargeFox charge points across the country. This is further enhanced by the 6-year Audi Scheduled Service plan as well as 6 years of Audi Roadside Assistance.