Audi has launched its not so secret Audi e-tron SUV at a global event in the United States. The Audi e-tron makes a mark as the first electric driven SUV from a legacy manufacturer and is set to begin delivers of a special edition in the last quarter of 2018 in Germany, with prices beginning from 79,900 Euros.
The e-tron marks the first in a series of introductions that will take Audi towards its goal of offering 12 models in full electric by 2025, accounting for one-third of all sales. The Audi e-tron Sportback should be the next in the line-up, with a debut date set in 2019.
Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at AUDI AG: “The Audi e-tron is definitely a highlight in the history of our company and the starting signal for our electrification strategy.” The strategy covers four distinct platforms and product families.
Audi has chosen to build on its existing strengths. While the electric cell layout necessitated a skateboard structure, Audi has used a variation on its MLB platform. And the two motor layout has translated into a electric Quattro system.
The Audi e-tron features a 130 kW motor or the front axle and a 150 kW unit at the rear with a total output of 400bhp. The car can charge at 150 kW rate using one of the new Audi charging units, including a unit that can be remotely controlled. Fast charging allows upto 80% charge in 30 minutes. Matched with on board regeneration and power management the range is real world and pretty impressive for a full-size SUV.
The interiors of the car offer an MMI systems adapted to electric drive, along with power control and optimisation functions. From navigation with the e-tron route planner, which displays the appropriate route with the required charging points, automated billing at the charging station and all the way to remote control via smartphone – the Audi e-tron is extremely well connected. It is equipped with the high-end media center MMI navigation plus including LTE Advanced and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard.
Interestingly, the company intends to target initial sales outside Europe in th eUSA and growth markets like China and India. The vehicle is manufactured at Audi’s plant in Brussels.