Audi unveiled today a cheaper version of its e-tron electric SUV with a smaller battery pack and slower charging, but this version of the vehicle is not coming to the North American market.
The current version of the e-tron, called e-tron 55, comes with a 95 kWh battery pack for a 204-mile EPA-rated range.
The new variant, which Audi is calling the e-tron 50, is instead equipped with a 71 kWh battery pack. It weighs about 120 kg (265 lbs) less than the current version of the e-tron.
Since it is only planned for the European market, Audi is only talking about the WLTP range, which is known to be more optimistic than the EPA range.
According to the company, the new variant would get 186 miles (299 km) of range compared to 248 miles (399 km) for the version with the 95 kWh pack based on the WLTP standard.
The smaller battery pack also charges slower, according to Audi.
Instead of the 150 kW advertised top charge rate, which could actually go up to 155 kW, the new e-tron 50 will top off at 120 kW.
As for the motors, it is still equipped with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system, but the output will be lowered from 402 hp to 308 hp (230 kW).
It will result in a slower 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration time of 7 seconds and a top speed (electronically limited) at 118 mph (190 km/h).
Those are the main differences of the new e-tron 50 other than the price, which is expected to be cheaper, but the automaker hasn’t confirmed it yet.
In Germany, Audi says that it will be “below 70,000 euros”, which should give people access to more EV incentives.
Electrek contacted a representative of Audi US about the new variant of the e-tron and he said that there’s no plan to launch it in the US.
In the US, the e-tron with a 96 kWh battery pack starts at ~$75,000 before incentives.
That could be an interesting offering depending on the price. I expect that it would be the equivalent of about $10,000 cheaper than the current version.
However, the e-tron is already not a really efficient car (for an electric car) and the range was somewhat limited on the bigger battery pack.
I wouldn’t be surprised if people will not get more than 150 miles of range on a single with the new version.
It’s still plenty for a lot of people, especially if you plan to use it inside cities and not for longer road trips, but a shorter range is always a tougher sell.
That’s probably why Audi is not launching it in North America. It would have to advertise it with an EPA-rated range of around 150 miles, which would be difficult to sell.
I see this mainly as a way to have an offering in markets that require a lower base selling price to get access to EV incentives, like in Germany, which is, of course, an important market for Audi.
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