Audi e-tron facing recall just months after launch

Potential fire risk identified on small batch of Audi e-trons in the UK

Audi e-tron

The Audi e-tron is facing a recall in the UK, just months after the brand’s first electric car went on sale.

DrivingElectric understands a potential fire risk has been identified by the company, although it stresses that no cases of fire have been reported to date.

“Audi UK is aware of an issue involving a component within the charging system on a small number of Audi e-trons that have been delivered to customers,” the company said in a statement.

“We are currently in the process of contacting these owners to recall their vehicle and rectify the issue.”

The recall also extends to other markets across the globe, including continental Europe and the US.

Orders for the Audi e-tron SUV opened in the UK early this year, with the German brand hoping to tempt customers away from the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X.

Despite being so radical underneath, the e-tron looks thoroughly conventional and sits comfortably alongside Audi’s current range of SUVs. At 4.9 metres long, it fits between the conventionally powered Audi Q5 and Audi Q7.

Audi e-tron price, Launch Edition and Edition 1

There are three versions of the e-tron – a standard model, a Launch Edition and an ultra-exclusive Edition 1, of which only 30 will come to the UK. All of the Edition 1s have now been reserved.

The standard e-tron costs from £71,490, while the Launch Edition – which adds a plethora of kit including 'virtual' door mirrors, 21-inch alloys, Matrix LED headlights and black styling pack – costs £82,240.

Other Launch Edition features include electric steering wheel adjustment, adaptive cruise assist, traffic-sign recognition and a 360-degree camera. All e-trons are eligible for the government's plug-in car grant, which slashes £3,500 off the list price.

The sold-out Edition 1 builds on the Launch Edition's kit list with a panoramic glass sunroof, four-zone climate control, a Bang & Olufsen premium stereo, acoustic glazing, exclusive Antigua Blue metallic paint, orange brake calipers and 21-inch 'turbine' alloy wheels and aluminium exterior elements.

Electric drivetrain

The e-tron is powered by a pair of electric motors, with one working on each axle. That'll ensure it sticks to one Audi tradition: quattro four-wheel drive. Air suspension will also be standard across the range, which bodes well for ride quality.

Working together, the two motors produce a total of 402bhp. Audi says this is enough to get the two-tonne-plus e-tron to 62mph from rest in 5.7 seconds and on to a 124mph top speed.

Range and charging

The e-tron certainly isn’t confined to pottering around town. On the contrary, Audi says it has a range of almost 250 miles. Like many electric cars, the e-tron has regenerative brakes to top up the battery, and the level of recuperation can be adjusted using paddles behind the steering wheel.

On top of that, it has 'brake-by-wire' technology. This means there’s no physical connection between the brake pedal and the brakes. Instead, when you press the pedal, the car’s 'brain' works out from the way the pedal is pushed what's the best way to slow down the car: either using the motors to recuperate energy or using the brakes themselves.

Charging the e-tron is no hassle, although you’ll need access to a 150kW charger for the quickest charge time. From one of those, the e-tron will charge to 80% capacity in less than 30 minutes. In addition, you can also charge the car at home from a wallbox.

Interior and practicality

Look around the e-tron’s interior and you can see that it’s every inch the modern Audi, with several features familiar from the range-topping Audi A8 luxury saloon.

That includes having two touchscreens to control the infotainment system and climate control, while Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – which has a fully configurable digital display instead of conventional dials – is standard on every model.

The optional cameras that replace the conventional door mirrors display their information on touchscreen panels in the doors themselves. These panels can then be used to fine-tune the view, including a wider angle for use on the motorway.

The e-tron is only a five-seater, but there’s room inside for five adults. And if you include the 60-litre waterproof area under the bonnet, the total load capacity is 660 litres (more than in the Jaguar I-Pace). When you drop the rear seats, this increases to 1,725 litres – again more than the Jaguar offers.