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Audi unveils more affordable e-tron 50

Smaller battery to cut both price and driving range of Audi’s e-tron in new 50

2 Aug 2019

AUDI has announced a trimmed-back budget version of its all-electric e-tron SUV, saying it will join the mainstream e-tron 55 on the European market in the first half of 2020.


Called e-tron 50, the new variant will sit below the existing e-tron 55 in the Audi EV pecking order, with a scaled back battery pack contributing to a cheaper price point and a 120kg weight saving.


The e-tron 55 has been confirmed for an Australian launch in 2020, but Audi Australia is yet to disclose if it will add the more affordable 50.


Audi’s new all-electric SUV will do battle with Mercedes-Benz’s EQC that is also due to get multiple electric battery variants as the German manufacturers follow the trend set by Tesla.


The e-tron will also come up against Jaguar’s I-Pace that is already available in Australia, priced from $123,814 plus on-road costs.


The e-tron 50 gets a 71kWh lithium-ion battery for an estimated driving range of 300km, compared with the e-tron 55’s 95kWh battery and 400km range.


It still has two motors – one on each axle to provide all-wheel drive – but the power and torque have been scaled back from 256kW and 561Nm in the 55 to 230kW and 540Nm in the 50.


This makes the entry level e-tron 0.5 seconds slower from zero to 100km/h (7.0 seconds), despite the weight saving from the smaller battery pack that cuts the kerb weight from a hefty 2560kg to about 2440kg.


Top speed has been dropped from an electronically limited 200km/h to 190km/h.


The e-tron 50 can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes on a 120kW fast charger, but the 55 can be charged at up to 150kW for a faster fill.


At home, the e-tron 50 charges at 2.3kW from a 230-volt wall box, but if the owner is lucky enough to have access to a 400-volt connection at a factory, the power goes up to 11kW.


The e-tron 50 and 55 both drive through the rear wheels for most of the time to conserve energy, but power up the front motor when needed.


A single thermal pump regulates not only the electrical drive and charging systems but also the cabin temperature.


Like other electrified vehicles, the e-tron twins employ regenerative braking to top up the battery when driving, with the rear motor doing most of the work.


In the case of the e-tron, more than 90 percent of all deceleration is covered by the motors, with the regular brakes only kicking in if the deceleration force exceeds 0.3G.


The e-tron 50 and 55 will be followed on to the market by a number of other e-tron variants, possibly including the e-tron Sportback and e-tron GT that have been shown in concept form.

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