Audi has unveiled a new base model for its electric vehicle range, the e-tron 50 quattro. This is positioned below the e-tron 55 quattro, and the base model here is equipped with a 71 kWh battery pack and two drive motors for a range of up to 300 km on the WLTP test cycle.

The e-tron 50 accepts up to 120 kW charging, compared to the e-tron 55’s 150 kW charging capability and 95 kWh battery pack, which gives the e-tron 55 a claimed range of over 400 km. Thus equipped, the e-tron 50 offers a total output of 308 hp and 540 Nm of torque, attaining the 0-100 km/h sprint in seven seconds with top speed rated at 189 km/h. The e-tron 55, with 402 hp/664 Nm does 0-100 km/h in 5.7 seconds.

Charged at the peak rate of 120 kW at a fast-charge station, the e-tron 50 can replenish 80% of its battery capacity in approximately 30 minutes. For home charging, an alternating current (AC) compact charging system is supplied with the e-tron 50 as standard; this supports charging at 2.3 kW with a 230 V domestic electricity outlet, and up to 11 kW when connected to an industrial charging facility.

The Audi e-tron 50 also harvests energy from recuperation through its dual electric motors, with the rear motor prioritised for over 90% of all deceleration actions, says Audi. A newly-developed electrohydraulic wheel brake system aids in braking, although only once deceleration exceeds 0.3 g, and results in shorter braking distances overall, says Audi.

On the charging hardware front, an optional connect charging system will be made available later this year with smart charging functions. These will include off-peak charging in combination with a home energy management system, which will help e-tron owners take advantage of solar power charging if a home photovoltaic setup is installed.

Additionally, the myAudi smartphone app enables control over functions such as charging processes and pre-entry climate control. As with the more powerful e-tron 55, a standard onboard efficiency assistant aids in efficient driving through automatic recuperation and predictive information displayed within the virtual cockpit.

This uses radar, cameras, navigation data and car-to-X information to observe traffic conditions and routes. When used with adaptive cruise assist, the efficiency assistant can also accelerate and decelerate the e-tron predictively, says Audi.

Like Audi, fellow German automaker Volkswagen is employing a multiple battery pack strategy for its electric models; the forthcoming ID 3 hatchback will come with a choice of three different packs, Autocar reports. As for the Audi e-tron 50 quattro, this base model is expected to cost around £10,000 (RM50,269) less than its 55 sibling, which starts at £71,520 (RM359,554) in the UK before government grants.