UPDATE VIDEO: Audi e-tron Debuts U.S. Price Undercuts Model X
The Audi e-tron all-electric SUV has finally been unveiled and now U.S. customers can place reservations.
Audi chose San Francisco, California as the location in which to finally take the wraps off its first-ever, fully electric, fast-charging SUV. The automaker calls it a “spacious five-seater, electric mid-sized premium SUV that is very well equipped to meet premium buyer expectations.” The e-tron provides top-tier infotainment technologies and driver assistance systems, as well as a battery design that Audi built specifically for “repeatable performance, longevity, and safety.”
Let’s take a look at official specs and some other items of interest that make the Audi e-tron special.
- 0-60 mph – 5.5 seconds
- Top speed – 124 mph
- Maximum tow rating – 4,000 pounds when properly equipped
*According to Audi, U.S. horsepower and torque figures will be available closer to the e-tron’s launch date.
- 193 inches long
- 76.3 inches wide
- 65.5 inches high
- 115.1-inch wheelbase
- 28.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats
- 57.0 cubic feet overall (with the rear seats folded down)
The e-tron features electric all-wheel drive through the use of two powerful asynchronous motors (ASM) with first-rate cooling technology. To increase efficiency, most of the power comes from the rear motor at moderate speeds. The motors also operate without magnetic drag torque when coasting.
According to Audi:
The battery system in the Audi e-tron is located beneath the cabin and is 2.28 meters (90 inches) long, 1.63 meters (63.6 inches) wide and 34 centimeters (13.4 in) high. It comprises a total of 36 cell modules in square aluminum housings, each of which is roughly the size of a shoe box. They are arranged on two levels, known as “floors” –a longer lower floor and a shorter upper one. At market launch, each module is equipped with twelve pouch cells having a flexible outer skin of aluminum-coated polymer. The battery operates with a nominal voltage of 396 volts and stores 95 kWh of energy.
A cooling system of flat aluminum extruded sections divided uniformly into small chambers has the task of maintaining the battery’s high-performance operation over the long term. Heat is exchanged between the cells and the cooling system beneath them via a thermally conductive gel pressed beneath each cell module. In what is a particularly resourceful solution, the gel evenly transfers the waste heat to the coolant via the battery housing.
The e-tron’s thermal management system uses a heat pump that captures up to 3 kW of lost power and feeds it back into the vehicle to use for cabin heating, air conditioning, and motor cooling. Audi says that dependant on outside temperatures, the system can increase the vehicle’s range by up to 10 percent. The technology also leads to longer battery life, repeatable performance, and fast DC charging.
Designed for efficiency and integration, the e-tron is engineered for both AC and DC charging via the widespread SAE J1772 and Combined Charging System (CCS) standards. In an industry first to-date, the e-tron debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, this capability can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes. For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a fresh charge overnight. This charger will include plugs that can utilize both a standard 120-volt household outlet (1.2 kW) as well as a fast-speed 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet (9.6 kW).
Engineers at Audi estimate that as much as 30 percent of the e-tron’s range comes from its innovative recuperation system. The technology recovers energy from both motors while coasting and depressing the brake pedal. When the brake pedal is depressed, the system instantaneously determines the amount of pressure needed and then an electric motor delivers the energy. The technology also decides how much of the desired braking power comes from the electric motors and how much comes from the traditional friction brakes. No vacuum pump is needed, which accounts for a ~30 percent weight reduction from conventional systems. The driver can also select the level of regenerative braking by using steering-wheel-mounted paddles. Additionally, a predictive efficiency assist setting notifies the driver when to lift off the accelerator pedal to increase range.
Adaptive Suspension/Driving Profile:
The Audi e-tron is equipped with an adaptive suspension system that can adjust the vehicle’s ride height by up to three inches. The system adjusts on its own based on multiple factors, like speed, driving style, and road conditions. The driver can also adjust the e-tron’s driving profile. There are a total of seven different settings ranging from comfortable to significantly sporty.
Amazon Home Services:
Audi has secured the first-ever collaboration with Amazon Home Services for home charging. Owners will be able to set up their homes prior to taking delivery. The service will be fully-digital, customizable, and hassle-free. Customers will be able to integrate their home charging system and myAudi app with electricity rates, charging times, pre-heating and cooling, departure times, etc.
Charging for the Audi e-tron will be supported by Electrify America. According to Audi:
By July 2019, this network will include nearly 500 fast-charging sites complete or under development throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. Offering advanced charging, Electrify America’s chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW. With the purchase of the Audi e-tron customers will receive 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.
The e-tron comes with Audi’s MMI touch-screen interface with a 10.1-inch upper screen and an 8.6-inch lower screen. The screens control nearly all functions in the SUV. The upper screen manages driver controls, including charging, navigation, telephone, and infotainment, while the lower screen focuses on comfort and HVAC features. The technology also includes state-of-the-art voice recognition. In addition to the MMI, Audi’s virtual cockpit also comes standard.
Audi’s optional Driver Assistance package includes 360-degree cameras, adaptive cruise control, intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist, and park steering assist.
The Audi e-tron will arrive in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2019. The base Premium Plus trim comes loaded with features that Audi believes are well-suited for premium buyers, however, an upper-level Prestige trim will also be available, with extras like a head-up display, memory seats, leather upholstery, a Driver Assistance package, and an Air Quality package. Audi will also manufacture 999 First Edition models for the U.S. market. According to the automaker:
The special equipment combination includes Daytona Gray exterior, 21-inch bi-color Black wheels, Alu-Optic exterior trim complemented by Dynamic orange brake calipers matching the Dynamic orange highlights surrounding the e-tron nameplate lettering located near the charge port. The interior is further elevated from the standard e-tron offering through Black Valcona leather with gray contrast stitch and Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays.
Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices minus destination ($995)
- Premium Plus $74,800
- Prestige $81,800
- First Edition $86,700
Reserving and configuring your Audi e-tron requires a $1,000 refundable deposit prior to mid-2019 delivery.
For more information and/or to reserve your Audi e-tron, go to www.audiusa.com/etron