Have you seen a good looking electric car? Of course you’ve seen the Tesla models. Now, Audi wants to have a share of the electric car market with its e-tron SUV. The Audi e-tron is a production SUV that the German carmaker recently unveiled. The concept vehicle was showcased in 2015. Audi has already launched this in the USA for approximately Rs 60 lakh sans taxes. Expect that number to double when it comes to India though.
What’s the range and electric motor details of the Audi e-tron?
That’s the juicy part, isn’t it? Audi has made use of a 95kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This consists of 36 modules that have 12 pouch-like cells each. Audi says that every one cell is rated at 60Ah. A fast charging mechanism will restore up to 80 per cent of the battery energy levels in 30 minutes. Speaking of which, the battery pack has a capability of 150kW DC rapid charging. The fast charger is obviously optional and costs extra.
The batteries are placed on the floor of the Audi e-tron. These alone weigh up to 800kg. The Audi e-tron can run 400km before needing to be plugged in. Audi has ensured that there is 60 litres of space under the hood to store the charging cable. The vehicle has a panel next to the driver’s door that will slide down to enable charging it. Since the batteries are placed on the floorboard, the boot can be used like a conventional vehicle. Speaking of which, the capacity is 600 litres.
An electric motor is placed on each axle and it helps generate 360PS and 664Nm. Audi has also used a boost mode that allows a spurt of power increase to 408PS for eight seconds. Power is fed to all four wheels via quattro through a single gear mechanism. Audi claims that the e-tron will do 0-100kmph in 5.7s with the boost and 6.6s when using the regular mode. Rated top speed is 200kmph. The weight of the vehicle is closer to three tons.
Design and interior of the Audi e-tron
That electric vehicles need not look outlandish is slowly becoming the norm. Audi has designed the e-tron to look like any of its other SUVs. The grille is a wide unit but has aero elements to it. A radiator thermal management system sits behind it. It will help heat or cool the batteries depending on the climes the vehicle is used. It basically maintains an optimum operating temperature of 25-35 degrees Celsius at all the times. We also like the new Audi headlamp design and believe it will also be a constant feature on future Audis. The company has stuck to regular LED elements in the headlamp citing the fact that these are more reliable and long lasting than OLEDs. While the 19-inch wheels are the same from the Audi Q7, they have a light weight element added to them to aid performance and efficiency.
The Audi e-tron is the first production car to do away with ORVMs. Don’t get us wrong. The car does have ORVMs but in the form of cameras. These cameras project images of the vehicles coming from behind onto special OLED screens mounted between the A-pillar and the door pads. Audi says that the use of these cameras has ensured that the vehicle is more aerodynamic. The drag coefficient is as less as 0.29Cd. These “mirrors” also contribute to the overall range by 20km.
Inside the cabin, things seem to veer a bit towards space age. There are two screens on the central console, just like what we have seen in new JLR products. These eliminate the need for physical buttons thereby rendering a clean look to the cabin. The meters too are digital. The Audi e-tron is a conventional 5-seater electric SUV in terms of space.