The Audi e-tron has been launched, the brand’s first all-electric series production model, and it will be available in the UK from early 2019 from £70,805.
The Audi e-tron is a full-size SUV with front and rear electric motors powered by a large high-voltage battery – in combination these facilitate sub-six-second acceleration potential and a driving range of at least 248 miles in the WLTP driving cycle, as well as an electric all-wheel drive system.
The Audi e-tron has a system output of up to 300 kW and 664 Nm of torque, delivering a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds with an electronically-limited 124mph top speed.
The quattro electric all-wheel drive continuously and fully variably regulates the distribution of drive between the two axles – although in most cases the e-tron mainly uses its rear electric motor.
With Audi drive select, the driver can vary the characteristics of the Audi e-tron between seven profiles depending on the driving situation, road conditions or personal preferences. The system also influences the standard air suspension with adaptive dampers. The pneumatic springs adjust individually to the road conditions depending on the speed and the driver’s preferences, varying the ride height by as much as 76 millimetres.
The Audi e-tron can cover more than 248 miles on a single charge in the WLTP test cycle. A recuperation system is responsible for up to 30 per cent of the range, using a new electrohydraulic actuation concept; Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to use this concept in a series production vehicle with electric drive.
When braking from 62mph, for example, the Audi e-tron can recuperate electric power with a maximum of 300 Nm and 220 kW. That corresponds to more than 70 percent of its operating energy input. No other series production model can achieve such a value.
Depending on the driving situation, the electrohydraulically integrated brake control system decides whether the SUV will use the electric motor, the wheel brake or a combination of the two acting on each axle individually for recuperation.
The Audi e-tron also has optional virtual exterior mirrors – a world first in a series production model. Integrated into each of the mirror supports is a small camera transmitting images to high-contrast OLED displays inside the vehicle. And there’s a fully lined underbody with an aluminium plate to protect the high-voltage battery and to improve aerodynamics.
When equipped with the virtual exterior mirrors, the Audi e-tron achieves a Cd value of 0.27, which is a leading result in the SUV segment. With a typical use profile, that drag coefficient provides for a range advantage of approximately 25 miles per battery charge versus a comparable, conventionally powered vehicle.
The large high-voltage battery in the Audi e-tron can store up to 95 kWh of energy. On long trips customers can use fast charging stations to charge with direct current (DC) at up to 150 kW – needing just a half hour charge – a first for a series-production car.
The e-tron can also be recharged with alternating current (AC) at up to 11 kW; recharging with 22 kW is available as an option.
A proprietary Audi charging service provides e-tron customers with easy access to roughly 80 percent of the public charging stations in Europe. Whether it’s AC or DC, 11 kW or 150 kW – a single card is all customers need to start the process. The procedure will become even more convenient with the function Plug & Charge, which will follow in 2019: the car self-authorises at the charging station and activates it.
Audi offers various solutions for charging at home. The standard mobile charging system can be used with either a 230 volt household outlet or a 400 volt three-phase outlet. The optional “connect” charging system doubles the charging power to as much as 22 kW. Combined with a home energy management system, it offers intelligent functions such as charging when electricity is less expensive or with solar electricity if the home is equipped with a photovoltaic system. Audi customers can control all charging processes as well as pre-heating/pre-cooling via their smartphone with the myAudi app.