Audi e-tron 55 quattro review, road test

    Can this premium luxury, all-electric Audi SUV meet the company’s ambitious 200 units per year sales target?

    Published on Jul 31, 2021 08:00:00 AM


    The e-tron is based on the heavily modified MLB Evo platform which also underpins the likes of the Q5 and Q7. This 5-seater e-tron is similar in terms of dimensions to the 7-seater Q7, stretching over 5m in length, almost 2m in width, and with a 2.9m-long wheelbase, thus holding a distinct size advantage over its current competition – Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-Pace.

    This grey hexagonal design element mimics a signature Audi grille.

    Being an Audi, the e-tron’s styling is typically understated, so while it looks both, sharp and smart, it doesn’t obviously scream that it is ‘electric’ or ‘futuristic’. Grabbing the limelight up front is a massive enclosed hexagonal area finished in grey that mimics a standard Audi front grille, which is in line with Audi’s conventional styling approach, rather than adopting a radical design philosophy like what Jaguar did with the I-Pace. This approach has been intentionally adapted to smoothen the transition for buyers from internal combustion engine cars to electric vehicles.

    Steeply raked windscreen and chiselled tail-lamps look sporty.

    The sharply styled headlamps, bulbous haunches, and the large 20-inch wheels add some oomph to its design, and for India, we get a standard outside mirror setup, rather than the futuristic, albeit gimmicky, twin external camera setup, which we experienced in its international iteration. Uniquely, Audi provides charging provisions on either side of the car, on the front fender – the driver’s side accommodates an AC as well as a DC charging socket, whereas the passenger side gets only an AC charging socket. What’s cool is the way the flap slides down electrically, when you press the button next to the ‘e-tron’ lettering. The light bar at the rear runs the width of the boot and connects the tail-lamps, and the steeply raked rear windscreen lends it a sporty appearance. A black band on the bumper and the silver skid plate do a great job of breaking the monotone at the rear.

    Orange brake calipers cling on to massive 18-inch disc brakes.

    Giving away its all-electric identity, however, are the green number plates, mandated for EVs in India, and orange highlights on the e-tron badge and the brake calipers.

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