The e-tron model of Audi’s which is going to be the first dedicated of all-electric SUV signalling an era of the zero-emission future with the platform which gives the wholly rise to a number of subsequent EVs in the following years with different set of body styles. The German auto major is wary of the stakes with the help of an e-tron and has not been petrified of flaunting the uniquely camouflaged test prototypes ahead of its global premiere.
With a vast testing schedule spanning nearly three years, the Audi e-tron has had minor hiccups along with the same sort of line. It’s a major weapon in Audi arsenal to subside the worldly disgrace which is going to be heardly caused by diesel emission cheating scandal that forever changed the landscape of the Volkswagen Group.
Wraps come off the new Audi e-tron SUV that’s set to take the fight to Jaguar and Tesla with a 250-mile range and 150kW fast charging
The Jaguar I-Pace has grabbed the headlines since it hit the roads earlier this summer, but one of its main rivals has just been revealed. This is the Audi e-tron, a pure-electric SUV that’ll arrive in January as a competitor for the British car and the Tesla Model X.
The first pure-electric Audi, the e-tron is a 4.9-metre SUV that’s designed to sit between the Q5 and Q7. You can see influences from the likes of the Q8, but there are unique e-tron touches such as a flush grille and, more radically, cameras that replace the regular side mirrors.
Its shape is relatively conventional, though – a reflection of customer feedback, according to lead exterior designer Stephan Fahr-Becker. The e-tron will have a pair of electric motors, one on each axle. The front unit has 168bhp and the rear 188bhp, and they can offer a combined ‘boost’ output of 402bhp for up to 10 seconds. Audi isn’t mentioning weight, beyond saying that the e-tron will be over two tonnes – but the motors are strong enough to take the car from 0-62mph in less than six seconds, and on to 124mph.
As the e-tron is designed to be a long-distance EV, Audi says it should deliver over 250 miles on the tougher WLTP test cycle. The car features brake-by-wire tech that interprets pedal inputs and then chooses how best to slow the vehicle – using the motors to recuperate energy, or the conventional pads and discs.
The level of recuperation can also be adjusted using paddles behind the steering wheel. Technical programme manager Dr Andreas Klem told us: “In the test cars, I find that I go for the strongest recuperation in town, because it’s very relaxing. Then I back it off a couple of stages for highways and motorways.”
The charging set-up is particularly neat. The driver’s side gets a flap that folds down smoothly, in a piece of pure theatre, to reveal a DC port that’s capable of 150kW charging – enough to get the car back up to 80 per cent of charge in less than half an hour.
Audi will also offer a couple of options for home, and should your parking layout require it, you’ll be able to spec a second AC-only charger on the passenger side, to make access easier.
Inside, the e-tron looks set to deliver typical SUV practicality. There’s room for five adults, and the 60-litre waterproof area below the bonnet takes load capacity to a useful 660 litres. Lowering the rear seats increases this to 1,725 litres.
The rest of the cabin has features from the A7 and A8 – including the twin-touchscreen controls – and every e-tron will get Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
Those mirror cameras will be optional, but they’re estimated to add just 2km to the car’s range. They display their info to OLED touchscreens integrated in the door panels, which can be used to fine-tune the angle, too. Kerb cameras and a wider angle for motorways are also included.
Audi says it’s already had 10,000 registrations from prospective e-tron customers, and the company will build the car at the Brussels factory that used to make the A1. There’s no word yet on pricing, but early indications are that the newcomer will be well under £70,000 – comparable with the I-Pace after the Government grant is applied.
Just one version of the e-tron will be offered in UK showrooms at launch, although we’re soon likely to see sport-themed S line and fully loaded Vorsprung editions.
There will also be styling packs, and you’ll be able to choose between 19, 20 and 21-inch wheels – with 22-inch rims available once Audi Sport launches its take on the car.
A performance version does seem inevitable; Audi sources are already indicating that the e-tron’s motors are good for higher outputs than their current settings. The company says it’ll start taking confirmed orders in early 2019, with deliveries due by the spring.