Having covered the concept before, CarAdvice was at the release of the impressive Audi e-tron quattro SUV this week for the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
“It’s not just any electric car, but one of the most beautiful, one of the most forward looking and one with the best range,” said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for technical Development.
Audi has claimed previously that the range would be ‘in excess of 500km’ and, here in Frankfurt, the company has reiterated that claim.
“Vorsprung Durch Technik means not to be the first, but to be the best,” Prof. Hackenberg went on to say. “There is passion in our engineering, and the result is this, another world first: the e-tron quattro SUV.”
This new technology isn’t as far away as you might think, either. “Audi will present an all-electric, luxury-class sport SUV in early 2018,” Prof. Hackenberg said. “The Audi e‑tron quattro concept provides a concrete foretaste of this.”
Prof. Hackenberg went on to explain that the e-tron quattro concept is Audi’s first battery-electric SUV, but not just a gimmick either. “It has a powerful battery pack and outstanding dynamics,” he said.
There are numerous active aerodynamic styling additions that assist in functionality like removing cooling air from the front end, adjustment to and air flowing onto and around the rear wheels. The e-tron quattro can also lower itself at speed to provide better aerodynamic efficiency.
Three electric motors (with clever technology that manages them and keeps them working together) power the e-tron quattro. Two engines power the rear wheels, while the third powers the front axle. The e-tron quattro will be predominantly rear-wheel-drive, in something of a departure for the German brand.
In hard launch mode, the e-tron quattro can deliver up to 370kW, with 320kW on offer at other times. There’s also a whopping 800Nm of torque generated. 0-100km/h comes up in 4.6 seconds and top speed is limited to 210km/h.
Huge carbon brake discs sit behind equally large 22-inch wheels. A solar panel on the roof adds to the charge cycle when the e-tron quattro is parked, and Audi claims that system alone can deliver up to 1000 ‘free’ kilometres every year.
Inside, you’ll find Audi’s virtual cockpit and a proper 615 litres of luggage space, furthering the e-tron’s ‘practical’ claim.
There’s plenty of clever electronic technology on board, including retractable cameras that extend out from the front quarters to provide the view rearward into the cabin.
Perhaps most interesting, though, is the speed with which it can be recharged. Audi is keen to emphasise charging speed as a reason (along with the 500km+ range) the e-tron quattro is practical as an everyday, luxury SUV.
“The speed charging system is fast and easy,” Prof. Hackenberg said. “You can get to approximately 400km range in 30 minutes, which makes it perfect for everyday driving.”
While we won’t see the e-tron quattro on the road until 2018, Audi says that this platform is a benchmark for further automotive technology through the entire Audi product portfolio.
“The future of zero emissions with long distance touring is becoming a compelling reality,” said Prof. Hackenberg. “The e-tron quattro most importantly will deliver a premium driving experience typical of Audi.”