FIRST DRIVE | 2019 Audi E-tron charges into a brave new era

Back to Ingolstadt’s offering though and there’s a lot riding on the first EV from the brand that scarred the automotive landscape with Dieselgate. The E-tron brand is not new, the badge already adorns hundreds of thousands of Audi hybrid vehicles around the world, but this is the first pure-electric vehicle to go into production wearing the four rings 

Like its electric rivals, it is not going to come cheap. According to Trevor Hill, boss of Audi SA, indicative pricing at the moment is around R1.6m, almost a million bucks more than a Q5. It’s slightly bigger than the Q5 at 4,908mm long compared to 4,663mm but it’s not a million bucks bigger. The problem is the cost of new technology and the lack of any incentive by the South African government which sees EVs as premium luxury vehicles for the elite. 

If you are still keen then read on because the E-tron is a decent package. It’s 40% more rigid than a Q5, partly because of additional strengthening to accommodate the batteries and partly because of the batteries themselves. That battery pack is the same as the one that Porsche will use in the Taycan, but in the E-tron it’s a 95kWh pack sending its power to two electric motors, one on each axle.

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