By Amanda Mfuphi
We recently sampled Audi’s exciting fully-electric SUV, the Audi e-tron S Sportback. We loved spending time with e-tron and in particular loved the fact that range anxiety was a thing at the back of our heads as we spent with this vehicle.
Eye-catching exterior design
In terms of exterior design, we love the fact that the e-tron does not look like a ‘typical EV’ and it actually adopts an appealing sexy look. The e-tron is beautiful with a commanding exterior design that adopts a sporty coupe-like SUV look. Upfront is a large black grille with daytime running LED headlights and our test unit ran on large 22-inch alloy wheels, which gave the e-tron an aggressive look. The coupe-like design continues along the body with gently sloping roofline making its way to the rear-end. The back has daytime running signature light strip and of course the omission of exhaust pipes. The commanding exterior of the e-tron meant a lot of stares from onlookers as we drove around Gauteng.
Posh, modish interior
Inside, the cabin presents a modern interior with the Audi virtual cockpit and two large displays in the centre console, which displays the infotainment system and temperature control. The cabin also felt premium thanks to the heavy use of soft touch leather materials and suede materials on the door panels. Space is also not issue with the cabin offering ample head room and legroom for front and rear occupants, and a very generous boot. Our test unit came with the optional panoramic glass sunroof which creates more natural light and airy feel in the cabin.
The e-tron is S Sportback is powered by two electric motors on each axle and a 95kWh battery which has power outputs of 370kW and 973Nm. At full charge, the e-tron offers a range of about 380km. Performance wise, the e-tron is a bliss to drive and the silent motion adds to the experience of enjoying the e-tron.
The e-tron is quick off the mark and responsive on acceleration – a silent frrpha. Naturally we were initially concerned by range anxiety issues but these were quickly laid to bed by the e-tron. During its stay with us, we did one full charge at the Sandton City Mall for about an hour and that gave us a full range of 380km. We also comfortably managed to do a round stint from Johannesburg to Hammanskraal and were left with 200km range to spare, thanks to the regenerative power of the battery. Interestingly, we found that the trip from Johannesburg to Hammanskraal gave us a lot of regenerative battery power given the downward nature of the drive, however, when we made the trip back we lost a lot of battery power because the trip was more upward orientated with limited opportunity to recharge the battery.
The e-tron S Sportback is priced at R2,425,000.
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