Audi’s first all-electric model is on the way, and the German premium carmaker is brandishing a new model -- the Audi e-tron prototype SUV – at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. This new prototype serves as a precursor of an upcoming all-electric sporty SUV from the brand with the four rings.
The Audi e-tron prototype is wrapped in camouflage, but this isn’t the traditional prototype disguise. Whereas traditional camouflage is intended to conceal the true appearance of a certain new model before they are officially revealed to the public, the one worn by the vehicle simply reveals the status of this study as a prototype that will be used for various tests.
The camouflage worn by the e-tron prototype is a specially developed design film that expresses the vehicle’s designation as an e-tron model. The camouflage is basically a distorted e-tron lettering that spans from the front end, through the flanks, over the roof and to the rear end.
In addition to the e-camouflage, the Audi e-tron prototype also features orange elements -- mimicking the high-voltage grid – that expresses the SUV’s nature a fully electric model. For instance, the lower section of the e-tron prototype is surrounded by alternating orange and black segments. Featuring colorful inserts, the sills indicate the location of the vehicle’s battery. Beneath this expressive exterior is a spacious and comfortable interior that could accommodate up to five people and their luggage.
Audi reveals that by the time it commences series production of the final all-electric SUV, almost 250 prototype vehicles will have completed testing under extreme conditions on four continents around the world. The all-electric Audi SUV will need to prove all-round qualities in stubborn practical tests under extreme conditions – in the heat of Africa, in the cold climate of Scandinavia, in the mountainous areas of Asia, on American highways, in the stop-and-go traffic of major cities in China, and in the Green Hell of the Nurburgring.
It needs to bear the torture of extreme temperatures between below -20 and above +50 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees to +122 degrees Farenheit). Tests are also being done to validate the full range of different charging options for the e-tron. Overall, these prototypes would have covered over five million kilometers (3,106,856 mi) when Audi finally unveils the production version.
Audi expects the production version of the all-electric SUV to be filled up to 150 kW of electric capacity at fast-charging stations. It would only need under 30 minutes to get the all-electric ready for the next trip. Set to be produced at the carbon-neutral plant in Brussels, the production version of the Audi e-tron SUV will arrive in Europe at the end of 2018.
According to Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, the new Audi e-tron SUV is part of big plan to launch more than 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025, as spread across all vehicle segments and concepts. He added that by 2020, Audi’s production range will include four all-electric vehicles: the e-tron SUV, a four-door Gran Turismo, the production version of the e-tron Sportback concept and a compact model.