With all of these models competing in the large luxury sedan/SUV market it’s great to see Australia finally getting a good amount of choice from both new and traditional car manufacturers.
Obviously being a luxury brand this Audi e-tron SUV isn’t going to come cheap, but with it’s all electric power train, 95 kWh actively cooled battery pack and gorgeous interior that Audi’s are known for it’s another very exciting EV to be released.
Drive Zero Car Guides are written for people trying to get a feel of the electric car landscape in Australia. We only wrote guides for battery (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) electric vehicles that are confirmed to be on sale in the market in Australia now, or are coming soon.
Our goal is to summarise as much as you might want to know about the different considerations for each of these electric cars and who they may be useful for. That said, we’re not qualified car reviewers, so full reviews of these models, we’ve included the best links and video for reviews that we could find.
Audi e-tron SUV – all the basics
While not currently available in Australia (or anywhere else), the Audi e-tron SUV has been officially announced and confirmed to be coming to Australia in “mid-2019”. It currently comes in two trims, the oddly named base model called “Premium Plus” and the top level “Prestige”.
Both trim levels have a range of around 400 km’s (exact numbers haven’t been officially released yet) and the same quattro all-wheel drive train. They both accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and can tow up to 1,800 kg.
The e-tron SUV can seat 5 passengers, has 807 Lt of boot space with the rear seats up (1,614 Lt with them folder down) and packs a respectable 4 year / 80,000 km warranty as well as a 7 year / 160,000 km battery warranty.
Being a completely electric vehicle it’s got a huge, 95 kWh battery pack that sits along the bottom of the car. It can also accept up to 150 kW DC charging if you can find it which will top you up from 0-80% in just 30 minutes.
This ultra fast Level 3 charging capability is fantastic to see and is even faster than the current Tesla Superchargers which “only” go up to 120 kW.
How much does the Audi e-tron SUV cost and what models are on sale in Australia?
As mentioned earlier, the Audi e-tron SUV isn’t on sale anywhere yet. Specifics on availability and pricing here in Australia haven’t been released by Audi yet but we do have confirmation that it’ll be here “mid-2019”.
Regarding price, the “base” model called Premium Plus is listed as starting at $74,800 USD ($105,464 AUD) on Audi’s USA website while the Prestige comes in at $81,800 USD ($115,333 AUD). While those prices don’t include GST and on road costs, they do include everything needed to import the car from Germany to America. So it’s a bit difficult to guess at how much it might be here down under.
Hopefully Audi will announce more information soon given it’s only around 6 months until “mid-2019” is upon us.
Audi e-tron SUV key details
The Audi e-tron SUV is obviously a luxury car similar in price to the Tesla Model X or Jaguar I-Pace. However while the Model X is quite sparse with its interior and finish the e-tron is much more traditional and will probably compete more with the I-Pace because of this.
You have a huge array of screens and – thankfully – what looks more like a traditional, normal Audi exterior. Quite often car manufacturers insist on making BEV’s completely whacky and “futuristic” in their design. This usually turns a lot of regular customers off as they simply prefer a “normal” design that non-BEV cars have.
The Audi e-tron SUV is certainly not lacking it technology or features despite this traditional interior and exterior look. With navigation, matrix design headlights, Valcona massaging leather seats, power door closers, ionizer and fragrance air packages, heads-up displays and much, much more it’s a tech heads dream come true.
On top of this techtopia there’s a good range of colours, various premium leathers for the seats, great looking wheels and the sleek, classic luxury exterior look Audi’s are known for. Together all of this means you really don’t have to compromise when it comes the e-tron. You get everything that all the other premium Audi’s have, just with it being all electric!
|Audi e-tron SUV Premium Plus||Audi e-tron SUV Prestige|
|Table last updated Nov 2018|
|Features||- Audi pre sense® city & side assist|
- Matrix-design LED headlights
- Bang & Olufsen® 3D Premium sound system
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- MMI® Navigation with Virtual Cockpit Plus
- Top view camera with virtual 3D
|- Driver Assistance Package|
- Head-up display
- Individual contour seats with Valcona leather
- Massage function for front seats
- Air quality package - ionizer and fragrance
- Power door closers
|Release Date & Availability||On Sale Mid-2019|
|Price||$74,800 USD ($105,464 AUD)|
(Aus Pricing Not Announced)
|$81,800 USD ($115,333 AUD)|
(Aus Pricing Not Announced)
|~400 km (Official Range Not Announced)|
|0-100 km/h||5.5 Seconds|
|Battery||95 kWh Lithium Ion Battery|
|Drivetrain||All Wheel Drive (2 Motors)|
300 kW combined power output
414 lb-ft Torque and up to 490 lb-ft with boost engaged
|Seats||4-door SUV, seats 5 passengers|
|Charging||Type 2 (Mennekes) / CCS Combo1|
|Vehicle & Battery Warranty||Note: Warranty still needs to be confirmed but looks to be similar to the below information.|
Vehicle warranty for 4 years or 80,000 km, whichever comes first.
The Battery for a period of 8 years or 160,000 km, whichever comes first.
Beyond those basic stats you have the choice of a number of colours including the very striking Catalunya Red shown below.
There’s four separate screens in the car too, the drives display which is configurable via their Audi Virtual Cockpit Plus software, the two screens in the centre console area for general car navigation / settings and then climate control.
Finally there is also a small screen in the back compartment so that rear passengers can set the temperature to their liking with rear seat climate controls.
While the interior options might not be as mind boggling as the Volvo XC90 and it’s crystal gear level knob or fridge in the back with champagne and handcrafted crystal glasses it’s still quite luxurious and impressive.
While not for Australia, you can have a play with their USA based reservation configuration website here to see the full list of options and added extras they should have available when it’s launched here.
What do the reviewers think of the Audi e-tron SUV?
Obviously with the Audi e-tron SUV not actually being available to buy just yet there’s not a great deal of proper reviews out there but to start with we can get a very nice overall view of the car and it’s different features with this car wow video.
Moving on to actual driving reviews we have this one from Autogefühl which is based in Copenhagen. They got to do an early review on a camouflaged version.
Then there is a slightly more relaxed and informal walk through of the whole car by Misha Charoudin below. He also has a ball thrashing it around the desert of Namibia in South Africa and talks a lot about how it compares to more “casual”, non e-type Audi’s.
And… that’s about it really. Most other “reviews” aren’t currently of people actually driving it and reviewing it, but instead just overviews of the cars specs etc. If you’d like to learn even more though there is the official world Premiere launch video from Audi below which goes for over half an hour.
Audi e-tron SUV – Its battery and how to charge it
Audi have actually gone into quite a lot of detail about the new battery and has even made some quite bold claims about it. Made up of 432 individual cells and connected together into 36 modules the 380 Amp, 95 kWh battery is huge and only beaten by Tesla’s Model S/X 100D cars.
It’s built in what is now considered the industry standard “skateboard” design where it is housed underneath the seats. This not only helps with weight distribution and a lowered centre of gravity, but also helps to keep the car frame more rigid and supported in case of accidents.
It’s actively cooled which helps it not only charge quicker, but should mean it will last longer over the years. Batteries don’t like high or low temperatures so a proper and active thermal management system is critical to keeping the temperature just right for maximum longevity.
The charging port is on the driver’s side, just above the front wheel as you can see in the photo above. With a Type 2 (Mennekes) / CCS Combo1 plug it can charge either via AC with the on board charger or directly into the battery with DC Fast Charging.
In fact Audi has managed to give the e-tron SUV what might be the fastest charging capability in the world, at least until the Porsche Taycan gets released. This is because the e-tron SUV can charge from 0-80% in just 30 minutes using DC Ultra Fast chargers up to 150 kW in power.
While there aren’t many of these around yet, these Ultra Fast chargers shouldn’t take too long to roll out meaning the e-tron is quite future proof in the charging department.
How does the Audi e-tron SUV look inside?
As touched on in the earlier sections the Audi e-tron is a high end luxury SUV and the interior doesn’t hold anything back. With its four screens we talked about before, multiple stitching, dashboard and headliner options and even illuminated seat belt buckles in the back there’s some pretty cool technology available.
Of course you’ll have to pay for a lot of these amenities even with the eye-watering base price. The Cold Weather Package will set you back an additional $900 USD, the Towing Package is an additional $650 USD while other upgrades like having those back seat belt buckles illuminated – as well as rear side airbags – will be $400 USD.
On the seats / dashboard / carpet configuration side you have three options:
- Black with Rock Gray stitching, Dashboard: Black, Carpet: Black, Headliner: Lunar Silver
- Okapi Brown, Dashboard: Black, Carpet: Black, Headliner: Lunar Silver
- Pearl Beige with Agate Gray stitching, Dashboard: Black/Pearl Beige, Carpet: Black, Headliner: Lunar Silver
There’s also a glass roof optional extra and a Driver Assistance Plus package that includes adaptive cruise assist and more for $2,850 USD.
Overall I think it’s safe to say that if there’s an interior option you’re after, Audi probably has got you covered. Assuming you’re willing to pay a little extra that is.
Other key features
On top of all that luxury, Audi crams in what seems like even more technology as well as safety features into the car. There’s an option to include a heads up display, the car – unlike many other BEV’s – has a small front trunk area to store groceries or portable charging cables.
It also supports Apples CarPlay system and has the 360° surround view camera’s that give you a birds eye view while you’re parking which is very handy. There’s Band & Olsen audio throughout and even Amazon Alexa integration (at least in the US version).
Beyond that there’s the side mirrors which may be traditional looking – as is shown on the American pre-order page – or may be entirely camera based as shown below.
Whether Australia will allow Audi to sell a car with camera side mirrors is unknown at the moment but obviously Audi has the more traditional side mirrors if they’re not allowed to. Either way it’s a very interesting new technology with advantages in aerodynamics, especially at high speeds.
Rounding up the slew of tech is of course, the myAudi phone app that lets you control numerous features of your car like locking and unlocking as well as pre-heating/pre-cooling. It will also tell you the cars charging status and how long it has left until full, all very handy stuff!
Summing Up – Why consider an Audi e-tron SUV?
The Audi e-tron SUV is an exceptional piece of engineering and a real breath of fresh air from the time honoured manufacturer. Built from the ground up to be all electric the e-tron represents years of painstaking work that looks like will be just the beginning for Audi regarding all electric cars.
They have set out on their road map the goal of selling “800,000 electrified cars in 2025” with more than 20 different models. From their own company plan they state:
The Audi e-tron Sportback will be the second fully electric car to be launched, followed by the Audi e-tron GT from Audi Sport in 2020. Audi will also offer an electric model in the premium compact segment in 2020.
The e-tron SUV is not just a BEV, it has decent range, a great towing capability, lots of room, lots of luxury, some fantastic new technologies and most importantly doesn’t look like a weird-mobile.
Although it’s obviously not for everyone given the high price tag, if you’re already looking in that range it’s certainly one of the top picks to consider. With a flood of Audi and other manufacturer cars to come out even more over 2019 and 2020 Australian’s should be spoilt for choice!
*Supplementary photos courtesy of Audi