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Audi's first all-electric model finally goes on sale from £71,490

feedback@motor1.com (James Fossdyke)
Audi e-tron

...once the government's Plug-In Car Grant has been applied.

Audi’s new all-electric e-tron SUV has gone on sale ahead of the first customer deliveries in April.

Prices start from £71,490 after the £3,500 Plug-in Car Grant has been applied, but the top-of-the-range Launch Edition variant comes in at £82,240.

More on the new e-tron:

The much-awaited model is the first all-electric model from Audi, although the brand has dabbled with hybrid technology for some time. E-tron badged versions of the Q7 and A3 have both used plug-in hybrid powertrains offering short-range electric capability alongside conventional internal combustion engines.

The e-tron, however, uses a 95 kWh battery to power a pair of electric motors, which combine to produce up to 402 bhp. That’s enough for a 0-62 mph time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph. More importantly, though, the car can be charged to 80 percent in just 30 minutes with a rapid charger, while a full charge will elicit a total range of up to 241 miles.

Audi e-tron

And because one motor is mounted on the front axle while the other sends power to the rear wheels, the e-tron is four-wheel drive. It gets adaptive air suspension, too, allowing it to modify its ride characteristics to suit the conditions or driver preferences.

But that’s not all you get as standard. Included in the asking price is Audi’s latest touchscreen infotainment system, while the driver’s instruments are replaced with a customisable digital readout called the Virtual Cockpit.

Other technology on offer includes a wireless phone charger, satellite navigation and a 360-degree bird’s-eye-view manoeuvring camera. And the e-tron gets other safety assistance gizmos too, including the lane departure warning system that alerts the driver if the car wanders across the white line without indicating.

Audi e-tron

On the outside, the standard e-tron gets 20-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights, but the Launch Edition ups the ante with black styling touches and clever cameras instead of door mirrors. These rear-facing cameras offer less air resistance than ordinary mirrors, and project the image they see on to small screens inside the cabin.

But the Launch Edition is also marked out by its high-end leather upholstery, panoramic glass sunroof and privacy glass. And the top-spec model also benefits from a “pre-conditioning” system that allows you to choose the climate control and heated seat settings via an app. As a result, the car can be warmed up before you get in and while the car is still plugged into the power, making the car more comfortable when you use it, as well as maximising the available range.