It’s been previewed, teased, and then teased further, but now, the Audi e-tron quattro concept at last makes its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show and will be a first taste of an all-electric, luxury SUV which Audi says it will present in early 2018.
Starting with the e-tron powertrain, three electric motors provide the drive for the concept. As we were told before, one of them drives the front axle while the remaining two acts on the rear axle. Audi say that the combined total output of the all-electric powertrain is 320kW (429hp) with a further 50kW (67hp) available when boosted, where torque output is a massive 800Nm.
Floor the pedal and the e-tron quattro sprints to 100km/h from a rest in 4.6 seconds, up to an electronically limited top speed of 210 km/h.
Powering the electric motors is a large 95kWh lithium-ion battery that is integrated into the floor of the passenger compartment. The battery’s capacity allows a claimed driving range of 500km, and can be recharged using either DC or AC electrical current thanks to the Combined Charging System (CCS).
In just 50 minutes, a full charge is achieved with a DC current charging station that outputs at 150kW. For convenience, the concept is equipped with Audi Wireless Charging technology that utilises contactless induction charging. In addition, a large solar roof provides electricity for the drive system battery on sunny days.
The e-tron quattro’s modular longitudinal platform (MLB) comes equipped with adaptive air suspension sport featuring controlled damping and all-wheel steering as well.
The exterior design is nothing short of stunning as you can see. Measuring 4.88 meters in length, 1.93 meters in width, and 1.54 meters in height, the concept adopts a coupe-like profile and has a claimed best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.25. Audi has mentioned that the vehicle's length sits between that of the Q5 and Q7, which could indicate that the future model might be the Q6, meant to take on the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Coupe. Based on how the concept looks, it does strongly suggest such a thing is possible.
Located on the hood, flanks, and at the rear end are electrically actuated aerodynamic elements that channel air as efficiently as possible around the vehicle. The sculpted front end features Matrix laser technology for the headlights while the bottom section features five OLED (organic light-emitting diode) elements. The Matrix OLED technology is being developed for use in production vehicles and is prominently featured at the rear lights on both of its sections (nine red OLED units for the taillight function, with three more below).
Moving inside, the e-tron quattro concept showcases the future development of the Audi virtual cockpit with an OLED display. Flanking the fully-digital instrument cluster are two touch displays for the lighting, piloted driving feature, multimedia, and navigation management.
More OLED elements are located on the dashboard, above the gear selector, serving as displays for the drive system status, climate control and freely programmable information functions. Passengers at the rear can use the OLED displays on the centre console to configure the climate control and infotainment for their area or to exchange data with the driver. LTE connectivity is also available as well.
The piloted driving feature mentioned is Audi’s autonomous driving system that links all the car’s sensors (radar sensors, a video camera, ultrasonic sensors, and a laser scanner) to the zFAS central driver assistance controller located in the boot. You may recall this system when it was previewed to us at CES Asia 2015 in an Audi A7.
The system computes a complete model of the car’s surroundings in real time and makes this information available to all assistance systems and the systems for piloted driving. These technologies are also nearly ready for use in production vehicles.