Production version of Audi e-tron all-electric SUV revealed in San Francisco, California

Article by Christian A., on September 20, 2018

After months of previewing the e-tron all-electric sports utility vehicle through prototypes wrapped in bright orange and black camouflage, Audi has finally unveiled the final production version of the SUV in San Francisco, California.

The all-new Audi e-tron full-size SUV is the brand’s first fully electrically powered series production model, boasting of an electrifying appearance that betrays its zero-emission intensions. Wrapped in blue finish with a number of chrome accents, the new Audi e-tron comes with a light gray Singleframe grille, expressive sill area and an electric tailboard.

Audi first teased the e-tron in 2016 as its first tangible response to the plan by parent Volkswagen Group to electrify its entire vehicle lineup by 2030. Just like Audi’s other premium offerings, the new e-tron offers a new level of spaciousness and comfort inside. The interior of the new e-tron is marked by high-quality materials and fine workmanship, as well as a number of helpful technologies like the navigation with the e-tron route planner.

Powering the new Audi e-tron are two electric motors (dual asynchronous motors) -- one on each axle for an all-wheel drive performance. Getting their juice from a 95-kWh lithium-ion battery, these motors deliver around 265 kW (355 hp) of output and 413 lb-ft. of torque. However, when the driver activates the “boost mode,” the motors will temporarily hike their potential to deliver up to 300 kW (402 hp) of output and up to 490 lb-ft. of torque. In boost mode, the e-tron can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds.

Keep in mind, however, that these are the specs of the Audi e-tron for Europe, and Audi is still in process of homologating the US version. This means, that Audi still cannot release the final numbers – output, torque, range – until it has completed the homologation of the e-tron for the US market. The official estimated range will come from the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

In terms of performance on the sprint, the Audi e-tron is expected to be half a second slower than the Tesla X electric crossover and a second slower than the Jaguar I-Pace. Nonetheless, what really matters in an electric SUV isn’t its sprint performance but its everyday usability, practicality and range. With a 95-kWh battery – one of the largest capacities offered among EVs – the new e-tron can travel a great distance. Add that to the fact that the e-tron boasts of superb aerodynamics with a low drag coefficient value of 0.28 Cd (0.30 Cd in the US).

However, there are a number of really attractive techs in the Audi e-tron that won't be seen in the US version – no thanks to existing regulations that have yet to be revised. US regulations only allow for side mirrors to installed, which means that the side-view cameras in the Euro-spec e-tron won't make to the US version. The same is true for the matrix-beam headlights.

Audi is assembling the new e-tron at a facility in Brussels, Belgium. The electric SUV has a starting price of $74,800 in the US and EUR79,900 in Germany.

Press Release

Electrifyingly fun to drive: the Audi e-tron

The Audi e-tron is the first fully electrically powered series production model from the brand with the four rings. The company will present its sporty full-size SUV – which is suitable for everyday use – to the world for the first time in San Francisco.

Standing still or on the move, the Audi e-tron is electrifying. Its expressive sill area, the electric tailboard and the light gray Singleframe are indicators of the high-voltage technology that makes for a special driving experience. The electric SUV is powered by two powerful electric motors that are locally CO2-neutral and virtually silent. A new generation of the quattro drive, the electric all-wheel drive, ensures excellent traction and dynamics. It ensures the continuous and variable regulation of the ideal distribution of drive torques between the two axles – within a fraction of a second.

A key factor for the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low and central position at which the battery system is installed. It gives the vehicle a range that is suitable for driving long distances. During far more than 90 percent of all decelerations, the Audi e-tron recovers energy solely via its electric motors. The electric SUV taps its maximum recuperation potential in combination with the integrated electrohydraulic brake control system. Audi is the world’s first carmaker to use such a system in an electrically powered series production vehicle. The cleverly designed aerodynamics also contribute significantly to its efficiency. One highlight of this concept are the optional virtual exterior mirrors – a worldwide first in a series production model. Not only do they reduce aerodynamic drag, they also take digitalization in the vehicle to a whole new level.

The Audi e-tron offers the spaciousness and comfort of one of the brand’s typical full-size models. Paired with high-quality materials and fine workmanship, it makes electric mobility a premium experience. This is also ensured by the comprehensive and reliable range of charging options with intelligent solutions for at home and on the go.

From navigation with the e-tron route planner, which displays the appropriate route with the required charging points, automated billing at the charging station and all the way to remote control via smartphone – the Audi e-tron is extremely well connected. It is equipped with the high-end media center MMI navigation plus including LTE Advanced and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. Numerous assist systems further relieve the driver. For example, the standard efficiency assist promotes an economic driving style by displaying predictive information and performing automatic recuperation. If the customer selects the adaptive cruise assist, the system can also brake and accelerate the electric SUV predictively.

The Audi e-tron rolls off the assembly line at the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels. Initial deliveries to European customers are planned for late 2018. The starting price of the electric SUV in Germany is 79,900 euros.

Source: Audi

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