Audi announces more ‘affordable’ e-tron for wider appeal

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When Audi launched its first ever all-electric e-tron this year, it was a welcome addition to the premium e-SUV market. However, with a starting price of around US$86,000, it’s an expensive option.

Now, an ‘entry level’ e-tron will launch in 2020, with a smaller battery and price tag that’s expected to be around US$10,000 lighter, to make its tech more affordable and more accessible for a wider market.

Audi e-tron

The Audi e-tron 50 will still utilize two electric motors, however will feature a 71kWh battery (as opposed to the e-tron 55’s 95kWh), which means total power is down from 360ps to 340ps and range drops to a quoted 300km (186 miles) on the WLTP cycle – still a respectable set of figures.

The new, lower capacity battery., however won’t benefit from the top-of-the-line e-tron’s 150kW charging capability, instead offering 120kW, which is still good enough to charge up to 80% using fast-charging stations.

The battery unit of the Audi e-tron 50 quattro comprises 324 prismatic cells combined in 27 modules. These store up to 71 kWh of energy, which is delivered via a newly calibrated drivetrain and a high voltage system featuring additional optimizations for this application.

One benefit of this smaller battery is a lower weight than the e-tron 55, which is something the 55 receives some criticism about.

The 120kg lower gross weight, which also reduces running resistance, contributes to efficiency, as does the advanced thermal management system with its standard thermal pump.

Like the more powerful version of the electric SUV, the Audi e-tron 50 quattro also recuperates energy via its two electric motors, with priority given to the rear motor, during more than 90% of all deceleration actions.

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