Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Audi presents electric SUV e-tron in San Francisco

Audi presents electric SUV e-tron in San Francisco

"It's a high-quality, beautifully-designed electric SUV from an established luxury brand".

The Audi e-tron should beat several of its German rivals to hitting the road, with the company confirming that the all-electric SUV will be up for sale in select regions of Europe later this year, and then the USA in early-2019. A reservation requires a refundable $1,000, and Audi says delivery is expected by mid-2019.

Reservations for the e-tron - which will hit the US market in the middle of 2019 - opened up Monday night with a refundable $1,000 deposit.

Overall, the e-tron doesn't look radically different from Audi's conventionally powered SUV models.

"And then with the AC cranked, the radio blasting, two technical wizards at the helm, the e-tron made the 175-mile journey back to this very spot - but this time, it arrived with an estimated 94 miles of range remaining", Keogh said, which comes out to a roughly 269-mile range.

Under the cabin floor the battery capacity of 95 kWh, which provides a power reserve of 400 km per charge (when measured by a realistic standard WLTP). All-in-all this makes it one of the most powerful electric SUVs available today, even if it's not quite as powerful as the Tesla Model X...

When the E-Tron is cruising, rather than accelerating, it is driven mostly by the rear motor. The Tesla ranked last in the most recent Consumer Reports survey of the least reliable vehicles on the market. But an e-tron detail is a hand rest above the console that incorporates a gear selector operated with your thumb and index finger.

The SUV, which will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds, will carry a base price of $74,800, with the highest trim level starting at $86,700. The auto comes with a full-featured, well connected navigation system. It's also the first new Audi to be equipped with Amazon Alexa built-in.

The interior of the e-tron is just as high-tech as its drivetrain. A mid-range, "Prestige" model jumps to $81,800. Range topping version is First Edition, it starts from $86,700. Preorders are already underway. Audi says it will begin USA deliveries of the e-tron during the second quarter of 2019.

"The Model X is a little bit larger, more seat configurations, with a third-row seat option, so the e-tron doesn't have all of that", Schuster told CNBC.

Tesla CEO Musk has long said he welcomes the arrival of more electric vehicles because it will grow the EV market and ultimately spur more people to stop driving gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles.

As a part of this launch, Audi has also announced an exclusive partnership with Amazon with respect to distribution of the charging mechanism.

All e-tron models will come standard with adaptive dampers and an air suspension capable of adjusting the vehicle's ride height by up to 3 inches.

But does the e-tron offer enough to sway you towards an electric SUV over the likes of a Q5 or Q7?

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