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Audi e-tron test drive

Audi’s hotly-anticipated entry into the EV market is here, and it brings a seamless blend of quality and electric power

What’s it like inside?

In fairness to the e-tron, if you opted for the launch edition you’ll get the very special wing mirror cameras – or you can opt to replace your standard mirrors with these pod-like cameras.

Looks like pretty much any other new Audi in here as well…

This displays what’s behind you on small OLED screens (like you find on high-end mobile phones) in the doors. To use them at first is a little jarring, but slowly your brain adjusts to what you’re seeing.

Apart from this, high-quality and durable interior materials are used and you get the latest Audi dual-screen infotainment system with haptic controls.

What’s under the bonnet?

This is all powered by two electric motors, paired with Audi’s electric all-wheel-drive system. The e-tron 55 quattro uses Audi’s new and confusing naming system that brings electric, petrol and diesel powertrains under the same umbrella.

In this case, it means its electric motors produce 265kW of power – or 360hp in old money – which will take the car to 60mph in 5.7 seconds. That’s not going to feel like the fastest Teslas on the market, but for a mid-sized SUV it’s still pretty quick off the mark.

The e-tron is also capable of charging to 80% in 30 minutes from a fast charger and its claimed maximum capacity can last for up to 259 miles.

What’s it like to drive?

If I were to hand the keys for the Audi e-tron to my mum, I’m not sure she’d notice it was an electric car. OK, she might detect the slight whirring noise that you wouldn’t get from anything other than an EV, but this could be the most convincing electric vehicle masquerading as a conventional car around.

Maybe this has more to say about the refinement of Audi’s standard engines, or it’s possible that the e-tron has arrived at the perfect time when driving an electric car really is, well, normal. Power delivery is great, the ride is smooth – even at high motorway speeds – and the steering feels responsive.

We knew exactly how far we would be driving on our test drive – around 20 miles less than the remaining range showing on the dashboard – but my driving style didn’t change, I wasn’t worried about running out of charge, and we safely arrived back with more charge than expected.

Verdict

The Audi e-tron has completely wowed simply because it is so normal. For years, we’ve been testing electric cars with spaceship-like qualities, but Audi has taken the features of its fantastic SUV range and seamlessly added all-electric power.

Paired with its impressive range and high-quality specifications, it’ll surely be convincing more people to make the switch to electric driving.

Similar cars

Jaguar I-Pace | Mercedes-Benz EQC | Tesla Model X

Key specifications

Model as tested: Audi e-tron 55 quattro
Price (on-road): £74,895
Powertrain: Twin all-electric motors
Power: 360 hp (265 kW)
Torque: 561 Nm
Top speed: 124 mph
0-60mph: 5.7 seconds
Range: Up to 259 miles
CO2 emissions: 0g/km

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