Behind The Scenes Of Audi E-Tron Development: Video

DEC 30 2018 BY MARK KANE 38

The Audi e-tron – a making of

Audi released a new documentary on the development and production of the e-tron, its first electric SUV, which is also one of the most expensive projects in company’s history.

Development of a first all-electric model for series production is always demanding. Audi went through a lot of testing and the video shows us many new things from behind the scenes.

Because it’s Audi, and Audi is not too fond of Tesla, around 15:55 you can hear a little bit about the competition in the EV segment. Like how Tesla’s production problems damaged its image, and that established manufacturers (Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche) are moving quickly.

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38 Comments on "Behind The Scenes Of Audi E-Tron Development: Video"

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“Because it’s Audi, and Audi is not too fond of Tesla, around 15:55 you can hear a little bit about the competition in the EV segment. Like how Tesla’s production problems damaged its image, and that established manufacturers (Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche) are moving quickly.”

This is the exact reason I ditched german cars. They have been doing this to Hyundai and kia for years. Today a kia is much more reliable than any car from the vw group.

Right, because Tesla constantly talking about the being the safest car ever like nobody even really cared about safety before while not even getting top scores in the IIHS or NCAP crash-tests is so different here…


Tesla has never been afraid to say which brands the are comparing itself to. They even said they were benchmarking the bmw m3 performance.

VAG doesn’t know what to do with its fallen VAG-fans. They can’t be lied to (again). They have kept track, some since before diesel-gate. The automobile market practically revolves around short car-memories; people who can’t see the difference between the problems of doubling production and defects.

I would expect nothing less from a 3rd generation family business, than relying upon past reputation while working primarily with bean-counters and warped messaging. If they pursued electrification sooner, it’s techie/passenger stigma wouldn’t have evolved.

Semi-educational Video – although two big things impress me as SuperDumb. They’re wasting all the time on those video mirrors when that kind of thing is German Company CONTINENTAL’s forte. It adding 1 1/2 miles of range would be better spent making the battery a bit larger. The second thing is those dumb electric port doors – several cars waste effort on this – fortunately the VOLT had this nonsense for only 2 years in 2011-12 – and many of those had to be recalled and fixed under warranty. You’d think the semi-brain-dead designers would realize there is nothing worth stealing until the door is left OPEN while it is charging. Of course, in this price range, some people enjoy silly gadgets. On the plus side I’m glad they tested for battery flex and dust infiltration – obviously there are a few car companies who haven’t stress tested much and rely mainly on ‘field-testing’ by their customers to see what happens. The narrator must think their customer base is Stupid. “Revolutionary Recouperation”, what traditionally for over 100 years was referred to as Dynamic Braking – a perfectly descriptive, succinct term which no EV people ever use (except me) was never… Read more »

“recuperates energy with up to 300 Nm of torque (221.3 lb-ft) and 220 kW of electric power – more than 70 percent of its operating energy input. No series production model has achieved such a value up to now.”

seems to to be the best out there in terms of recuperation.

No offense but so what? It is a bigger car – my Bolt EV has 0,3G (at 70 kw), which practically is a lot for the little puddle jumper. Tractor trailers are going to have somewhat more also. The nonsense in the video is that ALL (supposedly 100%) is sent back into chemical energy in the battery which is sheer nonsense. They mentioned the car has a ‘radiator’ which is only necessary in an electric car if the thing was *NOT* 100% efficient. The other radiator-like thing people worldwide call a “Condenser” – since that is what it does, and they weren’t talking about THAT. Best out there? The Blooming Mill at the truly dinky steel plant I worked at had the main drive motor provide up to 7200 kw of ‘recouperation’ – which was sent back into the flywheel generator (the thing used so much juice that the flywheel (bigger than most houses) was necessary to buffer the juice from the utility since the Utility couldn’t supply the load otherwise. The most modern patent on it was 1909 by the (USA) General Electric Company – to reiterate, this was a ‘smallish’ installation as far as steel plants go. As… Read more »

Your comparison with these stationary applications of recuperation is fatally flawed. They don’t need to cope with traction issues, slippery surfaces, sliding, etc, or recuperate vs sailing scenarios for instance. The recuperation in electric trains is way closer but still different use case. The thing is way more complicated than you seem to believe.

I’m glad you are so impressed with yourself. But point taken that test drives have shown the car drives nicely and is quite quiet.

The car is good because it is pumped with tech not available before.

Oh really? I thought one of the car’s advantages was that the gadgets were going to be optional, – since i’d only be interested in a stripped version with the usa legal mirrors anyway.

The “time wasted on those video mirrors” is more about reduction in wind noise than anything else.

True, but the Japanese and the Korean car makers never managed to challenge the Germans in the high-end premium segment, this is where the Germans have been getting their big margins and profits for decades, almost total domination. Yes, they have been complacent and even rude due to lack of serious competitors, but Tesla is the first to challenge them in such a significant way in rhis segment. This gtron seems to be a competent EV, simply because of heat coming from Tesla, not because of some premium and potent high-end Japanese or Korean EVs. I believe the German premium profits are in serious danger for the first time ever.

German reliability used to be fairly good – but lately – Daimler – as a for instance – seems to act like they’re doing YOU a favor just selling you a car.

It doesn’t bother me that Tesla seems to be offering them and others competition as to sales numbers.

A primitive vehicle have less potential for errors, and the more electronics and mechanical stuff you add – the more likely it will fail and the more likely it will be expensive to fix.
Quality control is of course super important, and also quality control for parts supplied by others that a manufacturer will use in their vehicles. A mechanical sound design is also important for a vehicle that should work for a long time.

Some friends of mine buys KIAs, and they get a 7 year warranty and 7 years of maintenance included. After 5 years they sell the car, still with 2 years of warranty.

it coasts while gooding downhill and you choose to have it recover energy. choice is good

Most important car of the decade, hardly. I think the Model 3 has that crown, but Audi can crown its own car king, but will anyone pay homage.

Nice ad! Still needs almost 30kwh when you drive 100km with 120km/h. A little inefficient and no joy on the german Autobahn.

Built quality seems very good and easily ahead of Tesla.

if you sit in the glass house, you shouldn’t throw with stones. Audi has yet to release its etron to customers (promised for Q4 2018). their lack of communication and lack of setting a new date does not bring much confidence. All these etron driving experiences, technique videos, etc etc just seem a bit like trying to string their customers along and obscure the fact that they are behind. Their time advantage over the EQC is melting away.

That said in November that they will start to deliver cars in the beginning of 2019. For a period of time, there seemed a possibility they could deliver some cars in late December, but so far – I have only seen a display vehicle that they are not allowed to sell (at least not before a certain date). The vehicles are not stacked outside a large Audi dealer where I live either. A Norwegian auto magazine blog said Audi started to stack up cars (that is going to Norway and other places). I think they may want to start the sale with fairly many at once to get some media coverage.. for selling most cars in one month or something like that. . . probably ahead of Tesla Model 3 that will arrive in early 2019 too. I still think they should have released like 10 cars if they could in December, just to do it. But give or take a month. . it really don’t matter. What we need in cheap EVs with fair specs. Nothing fancy, just a quality product with a fair range. 250km real life range is more then enough for many of the small car… Read more »

They have a software issue that is preventing sales. It was not really specified what it was and when exactly it will be resolved, but it made them miss their target. Most likely they have been producing ever since, so hopefully it will be a big volume start.
Not quite sure I agree about your demand statement. Tesla Model X and S has not been selling very well in Europe for the last months, there is only so many 80k+ EVs you can sale per month.

In the Netherlands they started deliveries on the 27th of December. Probably to some loyal costumers to let them take advantage of the lower taxation rates in 2018. As far as the numbers are in some 162 were registered up to the 30th of December. This means it is the 5th best selling electric car in december.

For context: Jaguar delivered 2554 I-Pace. Tesla 1536 Model S and 641 Model X. Nissan 252 LEAF.

Thanks to end of year rush on premium EV and the end of year slump for the rest of the market thanks to WLTP transition, the EV share in December will be over 30% in the Netherlands. YTD will be over 5% BEV share.

All these new offerings mean more production and a big win for electric cars.

Wow, I did not hear this before. Thank you for sharing! So in the end they still made 2018 deliveries, even though not in a big way.

This was on a German tv channel “n-tv” on the 10th of November from 11:10 to 12:00 and they called it “Mit Vollgas in die Zukunft” It came as a documentary, but I felt it was an Audi advertisement then too.

I am really interested in seeing which German luxury car company will come out ahead in the transition to BEV – Audi, BMW, or MB.

I think they will basically be OK all of them – but they have clearly different approaches. I get it that Mercedes focus A LOT on designing a super quiet ride, Audi does their thing, and it looks promesing that BMW focus a lot on integration to reduce size, cost and the modular way they design the units is quite good. Looks like BMW have gotten their battery production to a healthy level too. I see they deliver packs and motors for a small and a large buss for a Turkish bus manufacturer (that really should consider offering this as a basis for motorhomes/RVs : I think Mercedes was a bit slow to EVs, given their previous testing and so on, and will be interesting to see the volumes Audi will sell of the first e-tron. The Norwegian Audi boss has twice stated they will have no problem delivering the volumes people order in Norway. That may be so, but is it due to the price point (cheaper cars sells better), or since they have been producing quite a lot of cars all ready? I read reports that they are volume ready, and I’ve been to the factory once… Read more »

What’s up with all that excessive testing? Why don’t they just sell it to customers and fix it later over the air if there are problems?

You forgot the “/s” 🙂

Would have loved to see my old (scrapped a few years back) rusty car on that hydraulic rig.
It would have crumbled like a cookie, due to all the rust. The Audi guys would have needed showels to remove a lot of that car. Salt on the roads, for many years..

Although I applaud Audi for finally putting out an EV on the market, most, if not all of the relevant features showcased in the e-tron were already available in the Tesla Model S back in 2012.

I agree with the previous posts here – the slight comment about Tesla’s image being damaged due to production ramp-up problems does not reflect the actual love Tesla drivers have for the brand.

If you haven’t driven a Tesla, you will probably be pleased with the e-tron. Now, for anyone who already has experienced the paradigm shift that Tesla brought to the market years ago, don’t expect to be impressed with the e-tron’s traditional interior and exterior design, unimpressive acceleration and range, and lack of a broad network of fast charger stations.

Nobody would probably realize you are talking BS if the E-Tron was long released and you would have probably driven one.

Just like everyone here, I haven’t driven one because it’s not out yet. So, my opinion is what I have to offer. Tesla, being a company that started fresh, had the chance to built something truly new. The e-tron’s design, although nice enough for many consumers, is still tight to an outdated design language that resembles the decade-old Audi Q5’s design lines and proportions.

I don’t think that this is true. Yes, the “EV basics” are the same ones Tesla had in 2012. But other than that you can also turn the argument around: When you have driven in the e-tron and experienced a head up display, massaging seats, silence and cooled seats, maybe you would not want to convert to the Tesla even if it goes 0-60 in 1,3 seconds or whatever. The amenities for daily driving are strong in the Audi.

I agree that those are nice things to have. But, I think Audi is still playing catch up to Tesla. Other fundamental features Audi could have spend it’s resources on could have been a decent range (over 300 miles would be nice), and autonomous driving.

These cars were NEVER made with “fuel” efficiency in mind. We having a 6-700 miles trip, you would just have to make one extra 30 minutes stop.
Most big automakers have the same level of “autonomous driving” they just don’t false advertise it and charge customers a lot of money for a technology that experts say won’t happen in the next 10 years.
I really don’t like the E-Tron because it is a big SUV but saying Teslas are better in every way is just not true. Thus is a real off-road vehicle, something that Tesla will probably never make.

I still want a Tesla….someday…for now I will have to be content with the Bolt.

The Jaguar I-Pace documentary video (a short version on YouTube and a complete version on Amazon Prime) is much better. You get to see how the car was designed (including the clay model), the people that worked on it, the aerodynamic testing, the suspension tuning, and the battery of tests (pun intended) to stress the car’s thermal battery management.