Audi just announced its first production electric vehicle. Called the e-tron, the EV is a mid-size SUV loaded with technology with an unofficial range of over 300 miles. It’s nicely equipped, and with a starting price of $74,800, it sits between the Jaguar I-Pace and the Tesla Model X.
The e-tron is most similar to the Jaguar I-Pace though the Audi is slightly better equipped. The e-tron packs a 95 kWh battery over the Jaguar’s 90 kWh battery. It’s also slightly larger and rated to tow 4,000 lbs.
Comparing the e-tron to the Model X gets messy. Tesla sells the Model X in three flavors: mild, hot, and on fire. The mild version starts at $72,100 and packs a 75 kWh battery good for 237 miles. Spend $88,600 to get the 100D and its 100 kWh battery that’s rated for 295 miles. And for $125,800, buyers can get the P100D that’s good for 298 miles and a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds.
Autonomous driving modes are available for purchase on each version of the Model X. Audi and Jaguar do not offer autonomous driving on the e-tron or I-Pace.
Spec for spec, the e-tron, I-Pace and Model X offer advantages over each other. Here are the most important technical specifications for each vehicle along with the Toyota RAV4, the top selling SUV in the United States.
Here’s how I see each vehicle’s advantage:
- Best price-to-battery ratio: Buyers get a 95 kWh battery on the base model. For the money, the Audi is the best value when it comes to the range it can travel.
- Competent controls: Audi installed the same dual-touchscreen system found in its high-end A8 luxury sedan. The top screen handles infotainment while the bottom screen handles climate control and text input. Both screens offer tactile and audio response when touched.
- It looks and feels like an Audi: The e-tron does not stand out, which could be a good thing for some buyers. It looks and feels like an Audi SUV.
- Audi is not releasing the range yet: The EPA must certify the e-tron before Audi can advertise the range of the e-tron. Without those numbers, it’s hard to place where the e-tron sits in the landscape. But today at the e-tron launch event, the company hinted at a range that’s superior to that of the Tesla Model X.
- Early reviews of the I-Pace praise the driving: The I-Pace is a crossover and it drives like one. It’s sporty and confident and it has the lowest stance of the three EVs listed here.
- The I-Pace is a Jag: The I-Pace has the quickest time to 60 mph out of the bunch and is capable of hitting the mark in 4.5 seconds. That’s the same as aÂ 2016 Audi TTS Coupe. However, the more expensive Tesla P100D is much, much quicker with a 0-60 time of 2.9 seconds.
- Well equipped yet the cheapest: Starting at $69,500, the I-Pace is the least expensive of the bunch. And at that price, it’s well equipped
Tesla Model X P75
- It’s a Tesla: The Model X looks like nothing else on the road inside and out. To some, it’s a big draw while others shy away from the attention-getting design.
- The Model X is deceptively large: The Model X comes with five seats, but two jump seats can be added to the rear area. With all the seats down, the Model X has an available storage volume of 88 cubic feet — that’s just 6 cubic feet smaller than a Chevy Tahoe.
- The Model X can drive itself: The Model X can be equipped with Autopilot, Tesla’s self-driving system that can pilot the SUV on its own.
- More options: The Model X P100 offers more range and the Model X P100D offers more range and insane performance.
The e-tron hits the US market in the middle of 2019, and by then, there will be additional competitors to compare.
Source: Techcrunch Disrupt