Electric Audi E-tron unveiled
19 September 2018
Author: Sean Keywood
Audi has launched its first pure electric car.
The E-tron is an SUV powered by two electric motors, with a combined power output of 408hp - capable of accelerating the car from 0 to 62mph in 5.7 seconds - and a driving range of at least 248 miles under WLTP testing.
Audi says up to 30% of the car's range is achieved thanks to its energy recuperation system. The system operates when the vehicle is coasting (without the accelerator being pressed) and under braking. Additionally more than 90% of braking manoeuvres are achieved purely through the regeneration system - without the wheel brakes being needed.
The E-tron is four-wheel drive, with one motor driving the front axle and the other, the rear.
The 95kWh battery is compatible with fast charging stations of up to 150kW, and Audi will offer a charging service providing access to around 80% of public stations in Europe, along with home charging solutions.
Audi claims the car's handling is helped by a low centre of gravity comparable to that of a saloon car; this is possible because of the location of the battery system, which sits beneath the passenger compartment.
An adaptive suspension system can be adjusted according to driver preference, with seven drive modes available, and also road conditions; on motorways the ride height can be lowered to improve aerodynamics and therefore efficiency.
Optional virtual exterior mirrors also help aerodynamics, using cameras to relay images to the driver.
At 4.9 metres long, Audi says the car compares in terms of interior space with its largest regular models, claiming ample room for five occupants along with 660 litres of boot capacity.
Interior technology includes two multimedia touchscreens, as seen on other Audis, and the Virtual Cockpit driver information display.
Virtual Cockpit Plus - available as an option - will add a third screen, displaying information about the electric drive system.
UK order books for the E-tron are set to open in early 2019, with the model priced at £70,805.