The first fully-electric model from premium brand Audi has finally been unveiled. Simply named the Audi e-tron, the large SUV that is built in Belgium, is available for reservation and ready to be delivered to customers by the end of this year, much earlier than its recently launched rival, the Mercedes-Benz EQC 400.
The Audi e-tron is a large SUV. Measuring 4.9-metres long and 1.94-metres wide, the e-tron footprint slots in between the sporty Q8 flagship and the seven-seater Q7.
Debuting on the Audi Q8, the Singleframe grille on the fully-electric model has much fewer ventilation louvres. The matrix LED head lamps on the e-tron also feature the electric model’s-specific signature lighting consisting a series of horizontal bars at each corner.
A key feature on the Audi e-tron is the Virtual Side Mirror. Designed from ground-up to completely remove the traditional side mirror, these high-tech looking ‘stems’ are proven to reduce the drag and cabin noise. A high-resolution camera displays images into the high-contrast OLED display screens measuring seven inches just above the front door handles. Turn Indicators and blind spot alerts are also projected on to the respective screens.
While the Virtual Side Mirror is a cost option, only the standard side mirrors will be available for the North American market until it is approved by regulators.
At the rear, the signature slim tail lamp signature is fully-connected across the width. Moving to the lower portion of the rear bumper, slats are designed to draw attention to the absence of exhaust tailpipes, referencing to the fully electric powertrain.
Thanks to the fully-covered underbody and the Virtual Side Mirror, the coefficient of drag (Cd) value is the lowest of its segment, at 0.27.
Inside the Audi e-tron, the dashboard features the now-familiar dual-touchscreen setup. The upper display in 10.1-inch size is used for controlling infotainment and the navigation system. A smaller display in 8.6-inch size below places controls for air conditioning and other convenience features.
The lower centre console now features more storage space as well as a through-space as the platform of a fully-electric powertrain does not require tall transmission tunnels. The large 95 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is placed under the floor of the passenger compartment.
Interior comfort and convenience features include pre-conditioning of the air-conditioning, panoramic moonroof, Virtual Cockpit, driver assistance package, head-up display, and Bang & Olufsen 16-speaker sound system.
The Audi e-tron, with a motor placed in each axle, will have access to two combined power outputs; the front and rear motors provide a combined output of 265 kW or 360 hp and develop 561 Nm of torque. The new electric quattro all-wheel drive helps provide exceptional control and confidence in a variety of driving conditions.
When the driver engages ‘Boost’ mode through the increase in accelerator pedal input, the dual motors will deliver a combined system output of 300 kW or 408 hp and 664 Nm of torque. With ‘Boost’ mode, the circa 2.5 tonnes electric SUV can accelerate to 100 km/h from standstill in 5.7 seconds.
Sophisticated thermal management systems keep both motors as well as the battery pack cool for performance, durability, and reliability.
The large traction battery is capable of recharging to full capacity within 30 minutes through a new 150 kW high-power charging (HPC) station. The charging socket at the HPC stations features a CCS (Combined Charging System) design for DC supply. Smaller home chargers with 11 kW and 400-volt three-phase equipment require approximately 8.5 hours for the immense battery pack to be fully charged.
At launch, an Edition One variant for the North American market comes with 21-inch dual-tone wheels, night vision, orange-painted brake calipers, and Daytona Gray exterior paint with highlighted trims.