The company presented the e-tron prototype in Geneva, offering a preview of the first all-electric model from Ingolstadt. The prototype has a typical Q family looks, and according to Audi, it has got space for five people along with plenty of luggage.
The production version of the e-tron prototype can fill up at fast-charging stations with up to 150 kW charging capacity. In just under 30 minutes, the all-electric SUV is ready for the next leg of a long-distance journey. The quattro ensures strong performance on any terrain, Audi said.
“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,” he added.
The Audi e-tron prototype does not wear a traditional camouflage, but instead illustrates its electrification with a specially designed film. The distorted e-tron lettering stretches across the entire flank, as if it was charged with electricity. Mimicking the high-voltage grid, the orange elements is to suggest that the e-tron prototype is fully electric – the lower part of the car has alternating orange and black segments to indicate where the battery or the energy center of the car is located.
4 continents, more than 5 million kilometers of testing under extreme conditions
Audi said that the all-electric SUV prototype will complete test drives in four continents. Whether the freezing 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 all-electric SUV has to prove its all-round abilities in an 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 e-tron prototypes are used in the tests. They will cover more than 5 million kilometers (3,106,856 mi) – roughly equivalent to 125 times around the earth and 85,000 hours on the road, the company said.
Audi plans to launch the production version of the e-tron in Europe at the end of 2018.