Electric blue
Esquire Singapore|November 2020
The e-tron, Audi’s first volume-production electric car, is finally here and it’s barely any different from other full-sized SUVs… for better or worse.

Broadly speaking, buyers of electric cars in Singapore at this point in time can be lumped into three main camps—namely, the early adopters, the Elon Musk ‘give me electric or give me death’ zealots and the criminally insane.

Of course, it could also be argued that all the above groups are one and the same, but that’s another discussion for another time.

And with that demographic firmly in mind, electric car manufacturers have tried to pander to them, with some form of gimmickry put into their cars. The BMW i3 with its controversial sci-fi egg silhouette, the Jaguar I-Pace with its near-vertical tail and the Tesla Model X with its articulated ‘falcon-wing’ doors.

And... in rolls the Audi e-tron, which is conspicuously shorn of gimmicks, design or otherwise (save perhaps for those optional insect-eye wing mirror cameras that sadly aren’t available here yet), a clear sign it’s trying to preach to people other than the figurative choir. It looks about as inoffensive as inoffensive gets, virtually identical to the carmaker’s other full-sized SUV, the Q7. The only real clues to its electric nature are some safety-orange accents, a blanked-out grille and its lack of tailpipes.

You see, the purpose of the e-tron, the carmaker’s first mass-produced electric car isn’t to shock (pun intended, obviously) but to appeal to as many people as possible by looking and driving as close to a ‘regular’ car as possible.

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