Audi unveils camouflaged e-tron prototype SUV at 2018 Geneva Motor Show

Article by Christian A., on March 7, 2018

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.

Press Release

Audi e-tron prototype: preview of the first purely electrically powered model from the brand

Audi unveils the prototype for its first all-electric model at the Geneva Motor Show. The sporty SUV combines the space and comfort of a typical luxury car with a range suitable for everyday use. Until the start of series production, almost 250 development vehicles will complete testing under extreme conditions worldwide. Specially camouflaged prototypes kick off the chase for the most spectacular photos.

The Audi e-tron prototype offers a preview of the first all-electric model from the brand with the four rings. The camouflaged exterior conceals a sporty premium SUV with space for five people along with plenty of luggage – the space and comfort are similar to that of a typical Audi luxury class model. The range suitable for longer journeys and the comprehensive charging options allow customers to drive purely electrically without making compromises. The production version of the Audi e-tron prototype can fill up on electricity at fast-charging stations with up to 150 kW charging capacity. In just under 30 minutes, the SUV is then ready for the next leg of the long-distance journey. The electrical quattro catapults the four-wheel drive into a new age and ensures strong performance on any terrain. The production version of the Audi e-tron will be launched on the European market at the end of 2018. The car is produced at the carbon-neutral plant in Brussels.

“Audi sets an important milestone for the company’s future with its first purely electrically powered model,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “In 2020 we will have three all-electric vehicles in our product range, with a four-door Gran Turismo – the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback concept – and a model in the compact segment joining the sporty SUV. We will be launching more than 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025 – spread across all segments and concepts,” the Audi CEO explains.

Showcasing high-voltage technology: the design camouflage

The Audi e-tron prototype does not wear the traditional prototype camouflage, but instead illustrates its electrification with a specially developed design film. The distorted e-tron lettering stretches across the entire flank, as if it was charged with electricity. The “e” winds its way around the tailgate at the height of the front fender and is literally electrifying. Mimicking the high-voltage grid, orange elements illustrate the fact that the Audi e-tron prototype is fully electric – the lower part of the car, for example, is encircled with alternating orange and black segments. The expressive sills, with their colorful inserts, indicate where the battery and therefore energy center of the car are located.

Four continents, more than five million kilometers: testing under extreme conditions

Until the first electric model of the brand with the four rings is launched at the end of the year, the sporty SUV will complete test drives on four continents. Whether in the cold of Scandinavia or the heat of Africa, in the mountainous altitudes of Asia or on the north loop of the Nürburgring, in the stop-and-go traffic of major Chinese cities or on American highways – the purely electrically powered SUV has to prove its all-round qualities in uncompromising practical tests under extreme conditions. Audi is testing the pre-series vehicles for customer-focused operation in all climate zones ranging from below -20 to above +50 degrees Celsius (-4° to +122° F). In addition, intensive tests of the charging technology are being conducted worldwide – an important safeguarding criterion for battery-electric models. The individual charging standards are tested on proving grounds and in public areas to validate the full range of different charging options. In total, just under 250 Audi e-tron prototypes are used in the tests. They will cover more than five million kilometers (3,106,856 mi) – roughly equivalent to 125 times around the earth and 85,000 hours on the road.

Source: Audi

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