Once again, the Audi e-tron conducts a braking energy recuperation test down Pikes Peak.
When the Audi e-tron concept was revealed at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, everyone held their breath. It was finally something we'd all wanted from a major carmaker. It featured refined, futuristic looks, a luxurious interior and electric drive. Furthermore, the e-tron was by no means an over-the-top concept that would never see the light of day. Audi actually intended to build it. And after the first conclusive specs were released, everybody concluded that the German carmaker is on the right path with their first all-electric model (we're ignoring the uber-expensive R8 e-tron on purpose here).
The current e-tron prototype features two attractive traits: impressive power and efficiency. The vehicle features a combined system output of up to 300kW, allowing the full-size electric SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) to sprint from 0-62 mph in under six seconds. Furthermore, even its range is impressive enough that some call this a Tesla Model X challenger. The vehicle comes with a 95-kWh battery pack and promises a 249-mile (400 kilometers) range on a single charge (the EPA has yet to rate the SUV though). According to Audi, the e-tron can recharge to 80 percent battery status in less than half an hour by utilizing a DC charging station.
Since the world premiere of a production model is slated for next month, Audi is hard at work presenting the vehicle to journalists worldwide. We've already seen the test drive performed by carwow a few weeks back, and now, Auto TV gives us a more detailed look at the entire event where various journalists are seen hitting Pikes Peak with the Audi e-tron. Just like in the video by carwow, the object of this exercise is to test the e-tron's braking recuperation system.
The recuperation system contributes to up to 30 percent of the electric SUV’s range. It involves both the two electric motors and the electrohydraulically integrated brake control system. For the first time, three different recuperation modes are combined: manual coasting recuperation using the shift paddles, automatic coasting recuperation via the predictive efficiency assist, and brake recuperation with smooth transition between electric and hydraulic deceleration. Up to 0.3 g, the Audi e-tron prototype recuperates energy solely via the electric motors, without using the conventional brake – that covers over 90 percent of all decelerations. As a result, energy is fed back to the battery in practically all normal braking maneuvers.
How times have changed since Walter Röhrl, rocketing up the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb some 40 years ago, won the event by setting the track record. Now it's all about energy recuperation, range and eco-friendliness. And there's nothing wrong with that.
You can take a look at the entire video above.