E-tron, Audi's first electric vehicle, aims to allay range anxiety

By HONG BOON HOW | 18 September 2018

Audi e-tron

SAN FRANCISCO: Featuring a meaningful range of 400km on a single charge and expanding charging network, Audi's first production electric vehicle aims to make pure battery-driven cars a practical choice.

With high capacity batteries of 95kWh and energy recuperation system that is 30% better than the competition, the e-tron promises to address the range anxiety issue that made EV ownership unattractive to the masses.

Aside from having a long range, the e-tron which is a five-seater full-size sports utility vehicle (SUV), can also be charged fast - from empty to 80% in 30 minutes using a 150kW rapid charger.

Its lithium-ion batteries, together with two drive motors, are equipped with cooling systems to prevent heat build-up during sustained or spirited driving that would affect range and performance.

Audi e-tron

There's an electric motor for the front and rear wheels.

In Sport mode, system output is boosted briefly to 300kW/402hp and 664Nm of torque for a sporty performance and a 0-100kph sprint of 5.7 seconds.

Top speed is electronically-limited to 200kph for this first electric quattro all-wheel drive Audi that claims better traction and grip over all terrain compared with current quattro-equipped Audi models.

Other innovations included the camera-operated Virtual External Mirrors that offer better view of vehicles behind and decreased wind resistance and noise.

The e-tron also claims an outstanding Cd (drag coeficient) of 0.28 for an SUV, thanks to a smooth body, an active grille system, a recessed underbody like dimples on a golf ball and air suspension which lowers that car at high speeds.

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Inside, the e-tron is luxuriously appointed with leather interior and seats.

The SUV also has a sporty feel with a driver-angled dashboard while smart connectivity with driver assistance systems, a large free-standing centre display and fully electronic instrument panel impart the high tech persona.

Aside from a roomy interior and generous rear legroom, luggage area is also spacious at 600 litres.

The e-tron is sold in three variants and priced from US$74,800 (RM309,955) to US$86,700 (RM359,366). Prices exclude government incentives.

Audi says the e-tron is the first of its new generation Q models designed to boost its market share on the SUV segment and overall vehicle sales.

The company is aiming to roll out 12 Q models by 2025 of which seven will be EVs and the five being internal combustion engine-type with hybrid tech.

Audi e-tron
Audi e-tron