They're cheaper and driver further than last year's models.
The e-tron family, which currently includes the Audi e-tron and Audi e-tron Sportback, will enter the 2021 model year with a slew of updates. Perhaps most importantly, a new base-level e-tron Premium carries a much lower starting price of $65,900. The new MSRP is nearly $9,000 less than last year's Premium Plus model, which started at $77,400. This new base model still comes well-equipped with 20-inch five-spoke wheels, comfort pre-conditioning, a heated steering wheel, four-zone climate control, lane departure warning, heated front seats, power tailgate, virtual cockpit plus, power-folding mirrors, and Homelink with an integrated toll module.
Higher trim levels include the Premium w/Convenience Plus Package for $69,400, Premium Plus for $74,800, and Prestige for $79,100. A federal tax credit of $7,500 may also apply. Audi says it has made various drive system hardware and software adjustments, so the e-tron now yields an EPA-estimated range of 222 miles (an increase of 18 miles).
Oddly, the e-tron Sportback, which is meant to be more aerodynamic, only yields an EPA-estimated range of 218 miles. The Sportback is also more expensive, with the Premium trim starting at $69,100, Premium Plus at $78,000, and the Prestige at $82,300. It looks like the Edition One model, which was limited to 200 units, isn't on the menu for 2021.
Audi says the most significant upgrade to the e-tron's efficiency is the front electric motor, which can now be entirely disengaged to reduce power usage when not needed. When the driver demands more power or traction, the front axle activates to engage the quattro all-wheel-drive system.
As with previous models, two electric motors mated to a 95 kWh battery combine to produce 355 horsepower (402 hp with Boost Mode). With Boost Mode Active, the e-tron and e-tron Sportback take just 5.5 seconds to hit 60 mph. Even with the price decrease, the Audi is still more expensive than the base Tesla Model Y Dual Motor Long Range, which starts at $49,990 and provides an EPA-estimated 316-mile range. The Tesla is also slightly quicker at 4.8 seconds to 60 mph, but the Audi does have a more premium interior and more attractive styling, as well as top safety ratings beneath its belt.