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Good news: there’s now an Audi e-tron that costs less than £60,000

Bad news: the official range is less than an electric Vauxhall Corsa

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When you woke up this morning, you thought “hmm, I’d love a big, electric Audi but I wish it didn’t cost £68,000, even after the UK government’s zero-emission car grant”. Then you thought, “ah well, breakfast time”.

Well, prepare to spray those Cheerios straight into your coffee. There’s now a new version of the Audi e-tron, and it costs £59,900. This is the Audi e-tron 50 Quattro. Which is somehow 5 ‘worse’ than the e-tron 55 we tested last year. The battery is a 71kWh component – down from the 91kWh leviathan used in the longer-range e-tron 55.

Slice off the government’s £3,500 incentive and that puts a brand-new battery-powered Audi on your driveway for £56,400. And Audi will even throw in a 7kW home-charging wallbox for free, which recharges the battery from flat in 10.5 hours.

Generous, huh? The catch is that the official range claim has tumbled from 220 miles to 190 miles. And that means this entry-level e-tron won’t go as far on one charge as much smaller, cheaper EVs like a Vauxhall Corsa-e, or Renault Zoe. Then again, the superminis don’t have optional cameras for door mirrors. Maybe try a Honda e if that’s a dealbreaker.

Back to the e-tron 50, and its performance. It’s still four-wheel drive – though most of the time, only the front motor does the pushing, to eke out the battery. Combined power is 310bhp and a chunky 398lb ft – down from 402bhp and 490lb ft in the pricier e-tron.

So, this isn’t an EV that’ll be starring in YouTube drag race takedowns. It cruises from 0-62mph in 7.0 seconds and tops out at 118mph. but surely that’s plenty for a big, comfy, two-and-a-half-tonne SUV? No, pipe down Elon, we’re not asking you.

If you don’t mind the smaller battery but still want all of the toys, Audi will sell you a Launch Edition model, which gets the ‘Virtual Mirrors’ as standard, plus 21-inch rims and black styling trim. It’ll set you back £69,200 after the grant.

It’s rumoured that a faster version of the e-tron is in the pipeline – a zero-emission niche-filler between the likes of the uber-fast RS6 Avant and SQ8 / RSQ8. And lessons from that tech may well be funnelled into the next R8, which seems to be getting e-tron tech too. Wonder if the government will be keen to offer a £3.5k discount on that?

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