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.
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.