The arrival of the new Audi e-Tron SUV is a milestone for Audi. It marks the beginning of a campaign to roll out twelve electric vehicles by 2025. However, they are a little bit late to the EV party. In truth, the current state of the EV market is in its infancy. Around 1.1 million EV’s were sold worldwide during 2017. That sounds like a lot, but it’s a drop in the ocean considering 97 million ICE powered cars were sold during the same period.
However, analysts forecast that by 2040 cars like the Audi e-Tron will account for 55-percent of all new car sales and 33 percent of the global fleet will be electric.
By that time the early-adopter syndrome, of paying a premium to access new technology, will mean EV’s become more affordable.
In addition, Audi wants to steal some of Tesla’s thunder and sales territory. The Audi e-Tron is such a vehicle to do so and also the company’s first fully electric production model.
Two electric motors, located at the front and rear axles, provide an equivalent horsepower of 350bhp. A boost mode gets close to 400bhp, this gives a temporary increase in power.
Performance is rated at a claimed top speed of 124mph and the e-Tron can hit 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds.
Audi didn’t reveal the range capability but word of mouth at the official reveal was a claimed 258 miles (400km).
Which means it will probably be around 200 miles in real-world driving.
The 150 KW battery pack supports superfast charging, 80 percent can be recharged in just 30 minutes.
In the USA VW is working to build it’s own network of charging stations. By 2019 it anticipates there will be 500 of these stations dotted across the country.
The Audi e-Tron sits in between the Q5 and Q7 in terms of size and is able to accommodate up to five passengers.
Audi will throw include it’s latest suite of technologies. Expect electric an all-wheel-drive system, torque vectoring, traction control and maybe autonomous tech.
To improve efficiency and range the e-Tron will lower it’s ride height to improve airflow. Expect the latest driver assist technologies as standard. And that Star Trek inspired fully digital, touchscreen interface cabin. Apparently, you can also get night-vision.
The technology we are most interested in above all else is the virtual mirrors. A small display located on the inside, upper door panel replaces the externally mounted mirrors.
The display is fed live hi-res video by the externally mounted wing-cameras.
The Audi e-Tron will go on sale in Q1 2019, prices will start at $86,000 for exclusive First Edition models. The model range will be offered in two trims. Premium Plus will start at $74,000 and Prestige will cost $81,000.