Audi e-tron 55 Quattro Review

The flagship from Audi is now in India. We have tested the higher spec model - the more powerful Audi e-tron 55 SUV, with a larger battery. Is it a capable EV? And does it meet your expectations as an Audi? Read on to find out.

By Siddharth Vinayak Patankar


1 mins read


Published on July 5, 2021

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  • Audi is simultaneously launching the e-tron and e-tron Sportback
  • The Audi e-Tron looks like an electrified version of a Q7
  • The Audi e-tron is going to be offered in two variants - the 50 and 55

The Audi e-tron is finally here. The first foray by the four ringed Bavarian to the EV space, the e-tron uses the VW group's MLB Evo platform. It's taken its time getting here, but it is at least driving in alongside its Sportback alter ego. At first glance, and indeed when I first saw the static e-tron last year, it screams conventional Audi. It very much looks like a new avatar of the Q7, or perhaps even the electrified version of a Q7. And yet the two cars are not very similar - in size, attribute and engineering terms of course. The e-tron looks like an Audi through and through, yet while it manages to endear itself to Audi fans and adopters, due to its familiarity, it also manages to stay vastly distinct and different from the others - cars like the Jaguar I-Pace, Mercedes-EQC and globally - the Tesla Model X. Yes those cars are very different in shape and even size, but given the EV space is as yet not crowded, and certainly more so in India, that will have to do for the rival set. And Audi is playing it bold by simultaneously launching the e-tron and e-tron Sportback - the sleeker coupe avatar that is also now in India.

Also Read: Audi e-tron Electric SUV India Launch Date Confirmed


My test car sports a green number plate - reserved for battery electric vehicles. But there are distinct styling cues that will also tell you it is an e-tron, and not a regular Audi. But I shall come to that. The e-tron (especially the 55 variant) boasts a lot of kit and tech, so let's dive in... or should I say, plug-in? So let me clarify - the India spec Audi e-tron is going to be offered in two variants - the 50 and 55. Both get a two-motor set up - one at each axle, and the transmission is a single speed. Quattro all-wheel drive and the adaptive air suspension are standard for India - which is great. Today I am driving the e-tron 55 quattro - which is the top spec model. The e-tron 55 Quattro gets a 95 kWh battery and the car's motors punch out a combined 402 bhp and a huge 664 Nm of peak torque. 0-100 kmph takes 5.7 seconds. Driving range of the e-tron 55 is 359-484 kms depending on weight on board and driving conditions. The e-tron 50 gets a smaller 71 kWh battery. On this variant the max power stands at 308 bhp and you get 540 newton metres of peak torque. Globally there is a range topping 496 bhp 'S' variant, but India won't be getting that.

Also Read: Audi e-tron And e-tron Sportback Pre-Bookings Open In India


Audi is playing it bold by simultaneously launching both the e-tron and e-tron Sportback

Yes you would have heard me harp on about the instant torque one gets from an EV - and while mundane in that context - it remains a huge USP. Why? Quite simply because it is great fun to push the pedal and have the car propel forward! But having said that, what's nice in this car is for a lot of people who are transitioning from an ICE (internal combustion engine) car to this one, it will not seem like a drastic or alien change. And for those who especially like the VW universe and Audis in particular, the level of apprehension if any will simply disappear. The e-tron's power delivery is really smooth, and it is very easy to get used to. the recuperation of kinetic energy from the wheels and braking sends power back to the battery. That is like many EVs, and so similarly you also get 3 settings for increased or less recuperation - an adjustment you can make manually by way of the paddle shifter - or let the car decide on an auto setting.


The Audi e-Tron offers smooth power delivery and it is very easy to get used to the recuperation of kinetic energy from the wheels and braking sends power back to the battery

Ride and Handling

The standard adaptive air suspension gives you great ride quality and a supple feel - this is where the e-tron scores as it has a nice big car feel, with the comfort and SUV presence balanced quite beautifully. You also get Audi's drive select that lets you toggle between various drive modes - including an off-road mode where the air suspension rises by 35 mm. The efficiency mode is not ideal if you want quick or furtive responses for quick manoeuvres in traffic or on the highway. But the car handles well, and also sports Audi's progressive steering, which will give you the right kind of steering response. And that's based not just your driving inputs, but also on the quattro all wheel drive system, the amount of traction the wheels are getting, and the speed you are driving at.

Also Read: Top 5 Highlights: Audi e-Tron


The e-Tron gets 8 airbags, 360 camera views, proximity sensors, driver assistance systems, Isofix child seat mounts and tyre pressure monitoring


The e-tron has 8 airbags, 360 camera views, proximity sensors, driver assistance systems, Isofix child seat mounts and tyre pressure monitoring. It also gets an acoustic sound system that uses external speakers so the otherwise silent car can be detected by pedestrians.


The e-tron comes with charging points on both sides of the car. It is an AC power inlet on the left and an AC and DC socket on the right. An 80 per cent charge using a basic 11 kW AC charger will take 8.5 hours. The same on a 22 kW charger will take 4.5 hours. On a 50 kW DC charger that time drops to a shade under 2 hours. And under an hour on a 100 kW DC charger. Of course an 80 per cent charge using a 150 kW fast charger will need under half an hour charge time.

Audi e-Tron 11 kW AC Charger 22 kW AC Charger 50 kW AC Charger 100 kW AC Charger 150 kW AC Charger
Time to 80% battery charge 8.5 hours 4.5 hours 1.9 hours Under 1 hour Under 30 mins

Tech and Interior


The design and layout is typically Audi and includes - ambient lighting, 360 degree camera, ambient air package, soft touch door closing, and more

The car comes loaded with goodies like the latest MMI infotainment system, a B&O 3D sound system with 16 speakers, ambient lighting, 360 degree camera, ambient air package, soft touch door closing, head-up display, and virtual instrument cluster. Again not all this is standard, but buyers at this end of the market like all the bells and whistles. The design and layout is typically Audi. I especially oved the slick gear lever that needs a horizontal flick to operate. And it is cleverly housed within the wrist rest that allows you to easily operate the lower of the dual touchscreens. Haptic feedback on the dual screens also looks and works really well. In fact the car gets three digital screens, as there is also the virtual instrument cluster - as expected on a high-end Audi.


Audi e-tron 55 Quattro also gets the signature virtual instrument cluster and head-up display

What's good is that across both variants that are being launched in India, a lot of stuff that would be optional is actually standard like the Audi 'phone box' (smartphone connectivity suite and a wireless phone charger where the phone fits in vertically, charges and does not rattle about or take up space. You do have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though they do not connect wirelessly. A host of features including a Bang and Olufsen sound system are also on offer optionally. Watch our tech check video to get the complete lowdown on the Audi e-tron's tech.

The car's bootspace ranges from 660 to 1725 litres of space if you fold down the rear seats, In the front you also have a 60 litre storage compartment that can house the charging cables etc.


The Audi e-Tron's bootspace ranges from 660 to 1725 litres


The green licence plate, only electric cars get that you know that. From Audi's point of view there are other elements which make it specifically EV or e-tron. The single frame platinum grey grill with vertical slats, that's reserved for the electrics, orange brake callipers, a little orange around the e-tron on both sides and electrically retracting flaps that open up for the charging sockets on both sides (one is AC and DC, the other one is AC only). I like the black element that runs just below the rear doors - a nod from the designers to signify where the e-tron's battery pack sits.


Audi's signature single frame grille gets a platinum grey treatment with vertical slats that's reserved for the electrics

There are also two subtle bulges at the rear to tell you in design terms it is a Quattro model. And finally, the car gets 20"alloy wheels, the continuous LED strip taillights, a panoramic sunroof and digital matrix LED headlamps (not standard, but very cool). The latter have lane light, orientation light, predictive cornering, and multiple animation sequences when they come on or off (taillights too have the animation). But what's new and cooler still, is that the headlamps get digital light projection (possible in 5 patterns) that will project on a wall or smooth road surface ahead of the car.


The Audi e-Tron's exterior features also include - 20-inch alloy wheels, the continuous LED strip taillights, and a panoramic sunroof

But really in terms of the car's design inside and out, the idea (like the smaller Mercedes EQC) is to ensure the premium buyer is not alienated by the EV. So the car needed to be familiar and not odd looking in any way. Audi EVs that follow soon, may be seen as more progressive or cutting edge than the e-tron in styling terms. But that in itself was the point of going more mainstream with the e-tron. So it may not be the most sporty premium brand EV, nor the most powerful or some may say the most beautiful. But the e-tron balances today's buyer needs with tomorrow's buyer expectations and requirements quite well. We expect prices to range between Rs. 1.10 to 1.20 crore ex-showroom. Am glad I have spent a substantial amount of time with it today. Now all I want to do next is get behind the wheel of its sexier twin - the e-tron Sportback.


Last Updated on July 5, 2021

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