The 2021 Audi E-Tron electric SUV gets an $8,800 lower base price and an 18-mile range increase for the new model year.

The $66,995 base price (including a mandatory $1,095 destination charge) isn't a price cut. It reflects the lower-tier Premium trim level Audi previously said was on the way.

A Convenience Plus Package for the Premium trim level adds driver-assist features, and bumps the price to $70,495. The previously-available Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels carry over, starting at $75,895 and $80,195, respectively.

The E-Tron also qualifies for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit, and may qualify for additional state and local incentives, depending on locality.

2021 Audi E-Tron Sportback

2021 Audi E-Tron Sportback

For 2021, range also increases to an EPA-estimated 222 miles. That's a big boost over the E-Tron's original rating of 204 miles, and it was achieved without increasing the battery-pack size from the previous 95 kilowatt-hours. Instead, Audi enabled more usable battery capacity—from the current E-Tron's 83.6 kwh to 86.5 kwh—and made hardware and software adjustments.

The changes incorporated were those that we originally expected for 2020—but the E-Tron SUV sat out the 2020 model year in the U.S. and is instead getting them for 2021.

Audi announced those changes for the E-Tron Sportback already—resulting in a 218-mile range for that body style. The Sportback has a lower, sleeker roof line than the standard E-Tron, decreasing headroom and cargo space, but giving the SUV a more stylish look.

Predictability and strong real-world range results are what we've observed in the E-Tron all along—and we'll be eager to see if its real-world mileage can increase by this much or more.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the difference in base price between model years 2019 and 2021. The actual difference is $8,800.