Fueling interest in the four rings by discharging the Audi e-tron
They say hopping with dirty wires along the street is the lot of the Nissan Leaf owners. However, never mind, you meet an expensive electric car at the city charging station. Unwinding your own cable in front of onlookers is the simplest way to show who has the longest. Unlike Tesla, the Audi e-tron carefully disguises itself as an ordinary car, so going out to shake the connectors one more time is a necessary ritual to feel and demonstrate the owner’s peculiarity. At least once every few days: the onboard computer promises a real power reserve of 350 km.
There might not have been a test drive. I wanted to return the e-tron already after ten minutes of the trip. Fashionable virtual mirrors, rear-view cameras with door displays, are to blame for everything. The concept may be viable, but Audi’s implementation is terrible. It contradicts one of the most important postulates of safe driving – to look further and wider. Low-placed screens force you to lower and refocus your gaze, distracting from the road ahead. Peripheral vision is paralyzed. I’m scared.
A sector covered by the camera is not wide enough for confident maneuvering, and it is impossible to increase it with a head movement. Who would’ve thought that the control of the environment plays such a critical role for feeling safe in a car flow! Yes, I have heard from American sales consultants that local car owners have completely forgotten how to use mirrors and change lanes by signals from blind spot monitoring systems alone. But what if you are not so spoiled by electronics, and traffic on your country’s roads is less orderly?
In my opinion, this option should be banned. Although it is generally unclear how such a crude solution is certified for public roads. As a result, I convince myself to carefully live out the day in the shoes of a client who has fallen for a gadget. To test my own adaptability, at least to criticize on the basis of deeper experience.
Looking ahead, the e-tron didn’t convince me. Yes, it is possible to get used to digital mirrors, but our habit doesn’t make them safer. The forced skill of looking at the door is developed quickly, but the feeling of view tightness doesn’t allow you to relax behind the wheel and enjoy the unexpectedly brisk, positive vehicle. In order to fully relish this electric car, please don’t spend money on delusional screens. And it’s better to stay away from the e-tron with cameras scurrying through the rows.
After all, its owner will definitely want to hustle. Because acceleration on the move is the most gratifying thing about dynamics. The absence of the usual gear shifts means that overtaking begins without hitches, without noise and dust. The hulk weighing two and a half tons performs the maneuver in one breath, without straining. I already know the healing effect of silence after testing other electric cars. You can spend a super-aggressive day at the wheel and save much more energy than with a regular car, just because the sound soot from countless duels with traffic doesn’t settle on your ears.
Traffic light spurts are more difficult for the Audi, although, by starting with two pedals, you activate Boost mode – a kind of Launch Control. The power indicator jumps to the 50% mark while the e-tron is held by the brakes. The jerk following the ejection of the left pedal turns out to be sharp enough that, with a lucky coincidence, you can see the declared 5.7 s on Racelogic.
Instead of the Goodyear Eagle F1 tires with low rolling resistance mentioned in the press materials, the test car is shod in Continental Premium Contact 6 with the Audi Original marking. Their limiting capabilities are high enough to give the dynamic movement a completely authentic S-degree. The battery weighing about 700 kg hangs just 15 centimeters above the ground, which is why the e-tron is emphatically stable and moves almost without rolls.
The chassis is configured so that the electric car doesn’t hang in the drift, but nobly slides with all four wheels beyond the grip properties of Continental. I like that it is sporty not only in driving turns, but also willingly fits into standard right angles for the city with access to its lane without any full-control. Even a completely relaxed movement is accompanied by a sense of superiority and rightfully spent money.
The smoothness of the ride is convincing. If it weren’t for the stupid ban on comparative tests of Volkswagen cars, I would have put the e-tron together with the Bentayga. It is to the Bentley that the electric car is closest in mass. And, it seems, the electric car goes softer even on optional wheels with a diameter of 21 inches. There is that branded equanimity in the way a road defect is overcome, thanks to which Audi suspensions stand out favorably among products based on the MLB Evo platform…
Large potholes detail the vibrations of large unsprung masses. But they’re still down there somewhere. This “there” is difficult to understand, because there is no “down” – here you are as close to the ground as, say, in the Q3. Subjectively speaking, the e-tron is closer to the reference Q7 than any co-platform car in terms of driving comfort. And taking into account sterile acoustics, minimal own vibrations, and the ability to use 19-inch tires, I assume that we have a new reference sedative.
It’s funny that every few years some Audi manages to reconcile me with the cold brand, which, in my opinion, severely lacks a soul, for a while. Moreover, the e-tron does it even more efficiently than any R8. Because the R8 is a corporate anomaly, and the e-tron is a naturally occurring point at the intersection of trends. It seems that everything alive was consistently destroyed in Audi cars, a single dispassionate standard was deduced in order to grow a competitive electric car of the pre-driverless period in this neutral environment.
It’s hard to rate the e-tron objectively without testing the Mercedes EQC. But answer: if you were choosing an urban electric crossover of the traditional automobile format today (Tesla is out of brackets, it is from a parallel universe), would you remember about the Jaguar I-Pace? I wouldn’t. And I think it will also be difficult for the Mercedes with an 80 kWh battery.
And one more thing. It’s bad when you can’t find a car to your liking in the model range of a particular brand. You find yourself emotionally disconnected from an entire brand, or even a market segment. Of course, there are professional connections, but they don’t turn into those strings that can make a reader’s heart resonate. You want genuine enthusiasm and personal involvement. Therefore, I am glad that thanks to the e-tron, I can make a conversation about Audi again and even argue. At least about the choice of mirrors.
This is a translation. You can read the original here: https://www.drive.ru/test-drive/audi/5f590df8ec05c4285a000020.html