Audi’s electrifying e-tron


20 February 2019

AUDI has opened the order book for its first fully-electric vehicle, which is the e-tron costing up to more than £80,000.

It is a five-seat SUV, with a single battery system that the company claims has a driving range of up to 240 miles on a full charge.

The vehicle can accelerate to 60mph in five and a half seconds and boasts a 125mph top speed.

There is a 95kWh battery mounted beneath the passenger compartment that feeds an electric motor for each axle, which jointly generate an output of up to 300kW.

Initially there is a choice of just two models, the standard e-tron and Launch Edition priced at £71,490 and £82,240.

Audi says that the newcomer will be followed by at least 11 more fully electric models between now and 2025.  

There is adaptive air suspension on both versions of the car, whilst the

drive system to both axles takes the quattro all-wheel-drive principle into the electric age.

Charging the e-tron is via ports on each of its front wings that are propelled downwards via a button within the vehicle.

This reveals sockets that can connect to a home electricity supply via conventional means or using a home wall box.

Alternatively, the vehicle can use the very limited number of fast charging stations at up to 150 kW, enabling recharging to 80% of capacity in about half an hour.

Technology takes centre stage throughout the e-tron, with the MMI touch response concept that first introduced intuitive touch-screen functionality into the latest A8 operating system being at the heart of the car. Haptic feedback and voice control enhance its functionality to complement the digital instruments in the binnacle that form part of the Audi Virtual Cockpit. In the Launch Edition this incorporates two supplementary e-tron and Sport layouts offering additional functionality.

The Audi Smartphone Interface, Audi Phonebox wireless handset charging, MMI navigation and internet-based Audi connect infotainment services are included for both versions.

There are also assistance systems including Audi Parking System Plus with 360-degree display and rear-view camera and Lane Departure Warning.

The e-tron sits on 20-inch alloy wheels, while the Launch Edition upgrades to platinum-look 21-inch Audi Sport alloy wheels plus intelligent Matrix LED headlamps enabling diversion of the light beam around surrounding traffic. The e-tron’s conventional door mirrors also make way in the Launch Edition for distinctive camera-based units transmitting images of the driving environment to two interior displays.

The Launch Edition also gets a black styling pack taking in the Singleframe grille surround and window cappings and rear privacy glass. Inside, the e-tron’s twin leather upholstery is replaced by premium grade Valcona hide and there is a panoramic glass sunroof and electric steering wheel adjustment.

The driver can remotely activate the air conditioning to heat or cool the cabin via the MMI or myAudi smartphone app. This means that seat heating and ventilation, steering wheel heating and window heating can also be switched on in this way before a journey begins.

The Launch Edition also comes with adaptive cruise assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition and a 360-degree camera offering panoramic views of the exterior of the car, plus a bird’s eye view, to help with parking manoeuvres.

It is hoped that this significant all-electric newcomer will create further pressure to develop a nation-wide infrastructure of rapid roadside charging points.

 

 Audi e-tron imagerear view of Audi e-tron