Just as the 2019 E-tron SUV starts arriving at dealerships, Audi is already offering big discounts on them.
The biggest incentive so far is 1.9 percent financing on the E-tron for up to 66 months, which is significantly cheaper than most other models in Audi's lineup, according to our partners at CarsDirect.com. The similar-sized, gas-powered Q5 SUV only qualifies for a 3.99 percent annual percentage rate for the same 5.5 years, which is more typical in Audi's lineup.
On top of that, current Audi owners of 2009 models or newer can already receive a $750 owner-loyalty discount.
It is unusual for any automaker to offer big discounts on a brand new model. More often, automakers have to offer increasing discounts after a model has been on the market a few years and rival automakers have introduced newer competition.
The E-tron, which stickers for a base price of $75,795 including destination, is saddled with a 204-mile range between charges, while older and cheaper competitors such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Hyundai Kona Electric have between 230 and 260 miles of range. Tesla last week upgraded its competitive Model X SUV to include a minimum of 250 miles and up to 325 miles of range.
To offset that shortfall, Audi says the E-tron offers faster charging, up to 150 kilowatts, which can restore up to 160 miles of range in about 20 minutes. But relatively few public fast chargers are available yet that can provide that much power.
Lease rates for the E-tron are not as attractive as the sales incentives. Audi hasn't revealed complete lease terms, including monthly payments. The money factor of 0.0023, however, equates to 5.5 percent annual interest. Lower trim models, which have not yet arrived at dealerships, are likely to be significantly more attractive to lease, with higher residuals as well as lower prices.
Meanwhile, Jaguar is offering 0 percent financing on the I-Pace.