Audi has continued its long teaser process for the e-tron electric SUV, releasing details this week about the measures taken to ensure it has a low coefficient of drag.
One of the more interesting methods taken is a set of (optional) virtual exterior mirrors, technology previously reserved for pie-in-the-sky concepts. Rather than massive mirrors, the car will be available with a pair of slimline cameras that reduce the car's width by 15cm. Their pictures are displayed on OLED screens between the dashboard and door, and there are three views on offer – highway driving, turning and parking.
The cleverness continues apace under the car, where Audi has dimpled the battery cover and passenger cell like a golf ball for better aero. When you push beyond 120km/h, the e-tron automatically drops down on its air suspension by 26mm for improved aerodynamics.
As is becoming more common, a flap behind the brand's corporate grille closes for a smoother profile when cooling isn't required, before popping open to feed air to the brakes, battery or air-conditioning condenser.
Although the car's side vents send are designed to channel air around the wheels, Audi has gone to the trouble of fitting flattened-out aero rims wrapped in ultra-low rolling-resistance tyres. Even the lettering on the tyres is indented, not raised, for smoother air flow.
The net result is a 0.28 drag coefficient, a figure Audi says is 0.07Cd better than it would've achieved on a conventional internal-combustion car. Under normal driving, that could mean up to 35km more range from a battery charge.
Audi's first mass-production electric vehicle will (finally) make its debut on August 30. At this point, we've got a good idea about how it looks – thank the prototype pictured here for that one – and a sense of how much range it'll offer. Based on the prototype revealed in Geneva, expect to see around 500km of driving on a full charge, and outputs somewhere in the vicinity of 320kW and 800Nm.
We also know it'll support 150kW charging, for 80 per cent of range in just 30 minutes on the right charge plug.