If you’re thinking about buying an Audi e-tron, wait a bit.
The 2021 Audi electrics will get both a price cut and longer range making them more competitive. They will arrive at dealers “in short order” an Audi spokesperson told me.
The 2021 SUV’s $65,900 starting price is a drop of almost $9,000 from the MSRP of the 2019 Premium Plus e-tron’s $74,800.
But regardless of the price or the model year, the e-tron struggles in a head-to-head range comparison with the Model Y.
For example, the 2019 Audi e-tron SUV at dealers now offers only 204 miles of range. That falls well short of the Model Y with a 316 mile range and a price tag of $49,990.
The e-tron range will get bumped up a little in the 2021 model year to 222 miles and 218 miles for the SUV and Sportback, respectively.
The problem is, the e-tron SUV weighs a whopping 5,754 pounds (compared to the Model Y’s roughly 4,400 pounds) So, it isn’t shooting for spectacular range. Rather, it’s meant to be a luxury SUV with the build-quality, driving experience, and aesthetics expected of an Audi.
(See Motor Trend, “Audi E-Tron Review: This Electric Luxury SUV is Solid, But Has One Key Flaw” where it drolly points out that the e-tron has “less range than a 2013 Tesla.”)
“The approach Audi chose to take for its e-tron SUV design was one very much based on our traditional SUV model,” an Audi spokesperson told me. “We strive to offer our customers an outstanding, fully capable premium SUV they expect from our brand, just like the Q5, Q7 and Q8, that happens to be electric,” the spokesperson said.
And while the e-tron doesn’t have a self-driving option, Audi does offer Driver Assistance technology such as Audi adaptive cruise assist, active lane assist, and Audi pre sense (to help detect an impending rear-end collision), among other driver assistance tech. (See more details on Audi Driver Assistance.)
But wait, there’s yet another model on the way. The more compact Audi Q4 e-tron, coming in 2021, will get closer to the 300-mile range mark — which Tesla CEO Elon Musk said is the “new normal” — by offering about 280 miles of range and a lower price, based on reports.
See Audi details for the 2021 models
The e-tron Sportback (below) combines the functionality of an SUV with the design of a four-door coupe.