Audi e-tron Unveiled

This month saw the Audi e-tron, Audi’s first fully electrically powered series production model unveiled to the world for the first time in San Francisco.


With its aerodynamic body luxurious cabin, the Audi e-tron is a sporty, full-size SUV driven by two electric motors that produce up to 300kW (or 408PS) of power harnessed by Quattro all-wheel-drive. This streamlined body, assisted by optional virtual wing mirrors which we’ll take about in more detail later, promotes efficiency and a near silent drive. Details such as its octagonal grille and unique light signature set it apart as an Audi SUV and indeed a special e-tron.


The interior has an uncluttered design with no centre tunnel to limit space. A customisable virtual cockpit, touch-screens with haptic feedback, voice-command controls and a centre console provide an expansive dashboard. Up to five passengers can enjoy almost total noise insulation.


The Audi e-tron’ s electric efficiency supports its performance; an electric motor at the front and one at the rear means that this full-sized SUV can go from 0-62mph in less than 6 seconds with the same almost instant acceleration response enjoyed by electric cars.


Audi claim that the e-tron has a range of 248 miles on a single charge. Charging can be done at home, via a domestic socket or, for a reduced charging time, with a specially fitted wallbox, or on the road via high-power charging stations. Where available, the e-tron can be replenished at 150kW terminals that can recharge the battery to 80% within 30 minutes and 100% within 50 minutes.


As well as all this, the Audi e-tron has a number of additional features and options designed to provide both comfort and confidence.


The e-tron’s pre sense 360°, monitors the vehicle’s surroundings and can initiate protective measures if needed. Rear cross traffic assist, Crossing assist and Turn assist all detect and help evade unexpected hazards whilst adaptive cruise assist helps keep a safe distance from vehicles in front.


Interestingly, for the first time in an Audi production car, the Audi e-tron has the option of virtual wing mirrors which replace traditional glass mirrors with cameras that stream a view of what’s behind onto displays mounted within the front doors. Narrower than standard mirrors, they not only reduce drag but also wind noise. Being fully adjustable the focus can be zoomed and moved depending on driving conditions which Audi claim offers better all-round visibility and enhanced safety for car and passengers.


For trips further afield, Audi connect steps in. Either via the in-car MMI system, the MyAudi smartphone app or desktop web portal, the e-tron offers a range of Audi connect systems, including the e-tron route planner. This calculates routes showing charging stations, shows their estimated charge times and incorporates these with traffic data to calculate your arrival time.


At its launch earlier this month Audi announced that initial deliveries were planned for late 2018.


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