SUV to sport showy cabin
Audi has revealed the interior of its upcoming e-tron electric SUV, amid speculation its launch has been delayed after CEO Rupert Stadler was arrested over the risk of 'evidence suppression'.
The car's cabin doesn't break too significantly with Audi's new design language, combining sharp-edged horizontal lines with enough touchscreens to make a fingerprint-phobe break into a cold sweat.
There are no physical climate controls, with the car instead relying on the same low-set touchscreen system as the new A6, A7, A8 and Q8. The instrument binnacle is home to Audi's Virtual Cockpit, adjusted to display information about the car's battery and range.
At the front of the driver and passenger door trims are two seven-inch displays, which play the role of wing mirrors. They display the picture from small cameras on the car's doors, designed to create less drag than a regular mirror, and increase driving range in the process. They should also create less wind noise, a key concern without an internal-combustion engine making noise.
They'll be optional, by the way. Silence doesn't come cheap, evidently.
According to Audi, there are more high-tech (or wannabe high-tech) touches scattered throughout the cabin, like stitching inspired by circuit boards and orange detailing inspired by high-voltage wiring.
As for space, the e-tron will ride on a 2928mm wheelbase, designed to deliver 'ample space' for five people and their luggage – although it's a touch shorter than the Q7 SUV's 2994mm wheelbase.
Without a transmission tunnel, the rear floor is flat for all three passengers, while Audi claims to deliver class-leading head and knee room for a full-size SUV.
It also promises deafening silence at highway speeds, promising the only sounds are from the hum of the electric motors and a mild rumble from the tyres. According to the company, "wind noise, which dominates the acoustic perception from around 85km/h, barely gets through to the occupants".
The e-tron was initially scheduled to launch on August 30, but reports have suggested that event could be pushed back. Stay tuned for all the latest on CarAdvice.