Audi previews first production EV with e-tron prototype SUV
At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Audi unveiled the prototype for its first all-electric model. Until the start of production for launch on the European market at the end of 2018, camouflaged development e-tron SUVs will complete testing under extreme conditions worldwide.
The company says that the production SUV will combine the space and comfort of a typical luxury car with a range suitable for everyday use. The development vehicle does not wear traditional prototype camouflage, but instead illustrates its electrification with a specially developed design film with some distorted e-tron lettering. The camouflaged exterior conceals a premium SUV with Quattro electric four-wheel drive and space for five people along with plenty of luggage.
Electric range is said to be suitable for longer journeys and the charging options comprehensive. The production version will be able to fill up on electricity at fast-charging stations at up to 150-kW charging capacity and in as little as under 30 min.
Audi revealed few technical details at Geneva, but the prototype represents the development of the e-tron quattro concept from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. That concept had three electric motors, one on the front axle, two on the rear—with total output of 320 kW. Its large floor-integrated lithium-ion battery had a capacity of 95 kW·h for a range of more than 500 km (310 mi). A full charge with DC electrical current from a 150-kW charging station took around 50 min, claimed Audi at the time.
The 2018 prototype represents the first of many purely electrically powered Audis. “In 2020, we will have three all-electric vehicles in our product range, with a four-door Gran Turismo (the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback concept) and a model in the compact segment joining the sporty SUV,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, said at the show. “We will be launching more than 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025—spread across all segments and concepts.”
The test plan for the first all-electric Audi SUV encompasses test drives on four continents, from cold Scandinavia to hot Africa, in the mountains of Asia, on the north loop of the Nürburgring, in stop-and-go traffic of major Chinese cities, and on U.S. highways. Audi is testing for customer-focused operation from below -20 to above +50°C (-4° to +122°F). Just under 250 Audi e-tron prototypes will cover more than 5 million km (3.1 million mi) and 85,000 h on the road.
The production electric Audi SUV will be produced at a carbon-neutral plant in Brussels.