MHH International: First Look At The New Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron is a very smart looking SUV and is to be the forerunner of an electric offensive by the German brand with no less than twelve models expected by 2025. First shown at the 2018 Geneva show the e-tron is beginning to make its press debut and is available for order now.
The Audi e-tron is typical of the brand with the sort of quality and attention to detail buyers have come to expect from this prestige car builder. Fully electric power is derived from two electric motors that mobilise 225kW as the driving force. One motor is sited at the front developing 181bhp; the other is at the rear with 221bhp, both working in conjunction with each other.
Utilising quattro all-wheel drive, the e-tron boasts a total of 402bhp with both motors combined, with torque at 487lb/ft in Boost mode, driving the new Audi to an official figure of 5.7sec to 62mph. This is one of the advantages of electric motivation; acceleration is instant with no turbochargers to lag behind. With an eye to the laws of most of our lands the top speed is limited to a maximum of 124mph.
A large battery with a capacity of 82kilowatt hours takes up almost the entire space in the underbody area between the axles. Range will always depend upon how the car is used, much as fuel consumption is, but with an official range of over 279 miles on one full charge, the e-tron sets the benchmark in its class and begins to answer the question of range anxiety among the public. The modular electrification platform used on this car will be integrated in further electric vehicles produced by both Audi and the Volkswagen Group as a whole in the future.
The Audi e-tron then is a fully featured five-door SUV with all the very latest in safety technology including lane departure warning, Collision Pre-sense, adaptive cruise assist, matrix LED headlights and a rear-view camera as standard. As is usual, there is a host of options available, including ‘virtual’ rear-view mirrors.
On the inside the Audi e-tron’s modern, uncluttered design highlights the spaciousness of the fine interior. Unlike conventional vehicles, there’s no centre tunnel to impede the space in the rear. The driver gets all the toys with a customisable virtual cockpit, discrete touch-screens with haptic feedback (the idea of this is to create the illusion of substance and force like using real switches and so on. It’s up to the user to decide if it does or not.), and voice-command controls via the clear, expansive dashboard.
First reports of driving are positive. With almost total noise insulation, the drive is accompanied by a faint, distant whine from the electric motors at each end of the cabin. Tyre noise is superbly isolated at town speeds making the e-tron a soothing, yet enjoyable car to drive. The future of motoring is here.