The Audi Luxury EV Is Here
The automotive world is changing rapidly, maybe more-so than at any other time in history. To start, several manufacturers have announced that by 2030, most or all of their vehicles will have some sort of electrification propulsion. Then, we also are seeing the high-end of the auto market get crazy competitive. And without a doubt, Tesla can be thanked for spawning this revolution of luxury, all-electric or plug-in electric vehicles coming online.
Audi has jumped in with their first ever, all-new all-electric E-tron SUV. The 2019 Audi E-tron is now (February 2019) in dealerships for customers to place reservations, with dealer test drives sometime in late February or early March, and first deliveries scheduled for late Spring 2019.
The Intro Event
Clean Fleet Report recently attended an invitation-only event at Audi Mission Viejo in Orange County, CA. Let’s start with the Audi dealer experience. Much like what you will find from other premier and luxury brands, when visiting an Audi dealership you will be dealing with highly educated and product-knowledgeable representatives. It is not a pressure sale, but what is called consultative selling.
The E-tron event was attended by about 50 people, ranging in age from late twenties into their seventies. The gleaming dealership had two E-trons on display in the showroom that had been emptied of everything but a dessert table, tended bar and a made-on-the-spot sushi station.
While this was not a drive event, there was ample time to sit in each of the E-trons and go through the electronic-everything cockpit. There are three E-tron models of Premium Plus ($74,800), Prestige ($81,800) and First Edition ($86,700). Each comes with a different standard equipment list.
Our experience was in the nicely outfitted Prestige trim level. As can be imagined, the interiors are luscious with fine leather and wood trims. Everything you would expect is on a vehicle of this stature from advanced driver safety systems to the high-quality Bang & Olufsen audio system are included.
As of the event we attended, Audi had not released final range estimates, which is always top-of-mind for an electric car owner. The E-tron will compete head-to-head with the Tesla Model X that is rated at 237 miles in the base trim at $88,000, and the Jaguar I-Pace at 234 miles and $69,500. So, expect the E-tron to fall somewhere in the 240-mile driving range and a price competitive with both brands.
Clean Fleet Report will do a full road test of the 2019 Audi E-tron in the next few months. Until then, call your local Audi dealer and see if they have an E-tron on display, and schedule an appointment with a factory trained EV expert that can walk you through what should be a very nice SUV.
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