The electric SUV area is about to get crowded, with the 2019 Audi e-tron making its official debut in manufacturing type. Revealed in San Francisco, CA at the moment, the all-electric five-seater guarantees the posh and gadgetry you’d anticipate from an Audi, however with the inexperienced efficiency of an EV. In fact, there’s one massive query we now have forward of 2019 e-tron gross sales in mid-2019.
It’s an Audi SUV – with a twist
At first look the Audi DNA is clear, although aerodynamics and a brand new electrified design language do mark the e-tron out from the gang. On the entrance, the model’s Singleframe grille dominates the nostril, although its body is completed in platinum gray which Audi says can be its EV signifier. LED headlamps flank it, embellished with 4 horizontal DRL struts that the automaker says are meant to remind you of charging indicators.
It’s not the one nod to the weird propulsion. The black inserts on the edges are supposed to remind you the place the battery is situated, for instance, whereas the LED back lights – related with a light-weight strip just like that of the A7, A8, and Q8 – are supposed to seem like full battery icons. Even the diffuser design is supposed to subtly underscore the truth that there are not any tailpipes.
Audi’s handiwork isn’t all visible, although. Making an electric SUV slippery by means of the air is important if you wish to maximize vary, and most of the particulars are designed with that in thoughts. The usual 20-inch wheels, for occasion, have ultralow rolling resistance 255/50 tires, whereas the underbody’s full aluminum plate not solely protects the battery however lowers drag. Even the screw factors in it are recessed, creating tiny vortices that Audi says will assist information the movement of air.
Adaptive, speed-dependent air suspension is fitted to the e-tron as normal, decreasing the SUV at greater speeds or based on drive mode. With it – and the adjustable dampers – the EV can modify its peak by as much as Three-inches.
Quattro comes as normal
Audi is understood for its Quattro all-wheel drive, and the e-tron delivers that with two electric asynchronous motors (ASM). The automaker isn’t giving ultimate horsepower and torque figures but – they’ll come nearer to the SUV’s arrival in US dealerships – however collectively they’re good for Zero-60 mph in 5.5 seconds, and a prime velocity of 124 mph. Most torque arrives in simply 250 milliseconds.
Throughout common driving, at average speeds, the e-tron favors the rear motor for effectivity. Nevertheless, within the method of its mechanical quattro with extremely know-how system on fuel SUVs, the second axle might be engaged predictively, because the automotive notices grip declining. Torque is distributed with a slight rear bias, however by selectively balancing energy entrance and rear, and briefly making use of the brakes left and proper, the e-tron can management which wheel gets most pressure.
The 4-stage Digital Stabilization Management – which incorporates “sport” and “offroad” modes – may be turned off altogether, and there are seven Audi drive choose modes, spanning consolation by way of to dynamic. In “offroad” mode floor clearance is elevated by 1.Four-inches; an extra Zero.6-inches may be added by hitting the “Raise” choice.
Progressive steering is fitted as normal, with a speed-dependent ratio that modifications in line with steering angle. 5-link suspension is fitted entrance and rear. A trailer tow hitch may be put in, with the e-tron having a most tow score of Four,000 kilos.
Battery and vary
Audi has opted for a 95 kWh battery, with a nominal 396 volts, and consisting of 36 cell modules every containing twelve pouch cells. Every module has its personal aluminum housing, roughly the dimensions of a shoebox, and the e-tron spreads them throughout two ranges, mounted low down within the SUV to maintain the middle of gravity low.
For cooling, Audi has carried out a collection of flat aluminum extruded sections, divided into chambers. They’re thermally related to the battery cell modules with a thermally-conductive gel. Along with the “substantial” plate of underbody aluminum, the entire battery and cooling meeting contributes roughly 1,543 kilos to the e-tron’s weight.
Audi is doubling the guarantee for the e-tron’s battery, extending it to eight years or 100,000 miles. The remainder of the automotive has a Four yr / 50,000 mile guarantee.
The large query, in fact, is simply how far that 95 kWh battery will take you. Audi says that its official EPA estimated vary gained’t be revealed till nearer to the e-tron’s US release subsequent yr. On the European check cycle – which operates in another way to US testing, and is usually seen as much less arduous – the battery is estimated at as much as 400 kilometers, or round 249 miles. We’ll have to attend till subsequent yr to see how that interprets to US vary.
Getting charged up
Audi might not have its personal Supercharger community like Tesla, however the automaker isn’t leaving the e-tron with out choices. For a begin, it’ll be together with a 9.6 kW AC charger (Degree 2, 240-volt/40 amps) within the SUV’s trunk. That’ll be able to utilizing both a daily 120-volt family outlet or a 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet for a lot quicker charging.
It’s greater than most EV-makers provide – sometimes, the journey charger is a 110-volt unit solely, although Tesla does embrace a 240-volt-capable one in its automobiles – however there’ll be a hard and fast charger set up service, too. Audi has partnered with Amazon for its “Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home services” choice, which – for a single fastened value – will cowl each the acquisition of a Degree 2 house charger and its set up.
That may help the standard scheduling for charging in response to totally different electrical energy tariffs, in addition to for pre-conditioning the cabin. Setting a departure time, for occasion, can ensure the e-tron is charged by that time and that the HVAC system has cooled or warmed the inside as applicable. There’ll be zone-based management over that, too: it’ll function the heated seats or heated steering wheel.
One the street, in the meantime, there’s a rising charging community throughout the US, “Powered by Electify America.” Audi says that, by July 2019, it expects that charger infrastructure to have almost 500 fast-charging websites – albeit both “complete or under development” – throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. By the top of 2019, there ought to be 300 freeway places and 650 metro places. Freeway chargers might be, on common, 70 miles aside, however not more than 120 miles at most.
The chargers themselves will be capable of ship as much as 350 kW for quicker top-ups, and e-tron consumers will get 1,000 kWh of Electrify America charging credit. That, Audi says, is equal to greater than 2,000 miles of driving.
The 350 kW potential of the chargers, nevertheless, is extra about future-proofing. Within the case of the brand new e-tron, as much as 150 kW DC quick charging might be supported, and Audi says that’ll be adequate for as much as 80-percent cost in roughly 30 minutes. Come the Audi e-tron GT – and the Porsche Taycan – the 350 kW output will come into its personal.
Recuperation is the important thing
Audi’s electric motors additionally work as turbines, changing braking drive again into energy that may prolong general vary. The asynchronous motors can truly function free from any magnetic drag torque, the truth is, permitting for extra environment friendly coasting. When recuperating energy, Audi suggests as a lot as 30-percent of the e-tron’s vary could possibly be provided by way of regen.
Take your foot off the accelerator, and coasting recuperation feeds energy again into the batteries. Press the brake, in the meantime, and the e-tron routinely decides whether or not to make use of recuperation or the bodily brakes. The previous is enough to deal with 90-percent of all braking situations, Audi says, with the friction brakes solely including their pressure if notably required.
The e-tron provides three ranges of power restoration, managed utilizing the paddles behind the steering wheel. On the lowest setting, lifting off the accelerator permits the SUV to glide with no further braking torque. At its highest, conversely, you get one-pedal driving: the e-tron slows considerably whenever you carry off the facility. Both method, an icon on the dashboard prompts the driving force when to raise based mostly on the navigation system, together with radar and digital camera details about the street forward.
It sounds complicated, however we’ve already seen in apply the way it can carry out. Again in August we joined Audi in a pre-production e-tron prototype to descend the notorious Pikes Peak course, monitoring simply how a lot energy the EV SUV might squeeze out utilizing recuperation. Seems: it’s an entire lot.
No hair-shirt inside
Luxury automotive consumers gained’t compromise on inside high quality, even when they’re serving to save the planet, and so the e-tron doesn’t stint inside. The intelligent camera-based aspect mirrors gained’t be provided within the US; you’ll be able to blame laws for that. Nevertheless, there’s no scarcity of different know-how – or, certainly, the type of supplies you’d sometimes discover in a high-end Audi sedan or SUV.
The dashboard wraps throughout the complete width of the cabin, flowing into the door trim. Audi Digital Cockpit Plus is fitted as normal, an up to date model of the prevailing digital driver’s instrumentation, its show free-standing behind the steering wheel; the newest MMI Contact system splits the infotainment throughout two sizable touchscreens. The higher, 10.1-inch panel handles media, navigation, and e-tron particular settings; the decrease, eight.6-inch display handles HVAC and textual content enter.
As within the A8 and Q8, there’s pure voice recognition, with cloud-based processing utilizing the e-tron’s embedded LTE connection that may additionally host a WiFi hotspot. Navigation is fitted as commonplace, with predictive locations based mostly on earlier journeys. Routes bear in mind obtainable charging factors alongside the best way, together with charging time within the ETA calculation, and bearing in mind the present state of the battery.
Within the middle console there’s inductive telephone charging and a small, “floating” gear selector. Valcona leather-based and pure wooden trim are choices, whereas the seats have stitching meant to be harking back to circuit board paths. A panoramic glass sunroof is commonplace, as is four-zone automated air con; an air high quality package deal optionally provides an ionization and aromatization. The e-tron makes use of a warmth pump to transform waste warmth from the electrical elements into energy that can be utilized for the HVAC system.
Therapeutic massage entrance seats could be had, together with heating/cooling. There’s an ambient lighting package deal too, with adjustable shade LEDs, whereas the 705 watt Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D sound is fitted as normal. An electrically-operated tailgate – triggered hands-free with a foot gesture – reveals 28.5 cubic ft of bags area; drop the second row seats, in the meantime, and that expands to 57 cu ft. A second entrance trunk – or “frunk” in EV parlance – accommodates the journey charger and the car software package.
Not fairly autonomous, however getting shut
As you’d anticipate, the Audi e-tron presents all the automaker’s newest driver help and lively security techniques. The Driver Help Package deal, for occasion, provides adaptive cruise management that’s able to mechanically responding to lane markings, roadside buildings, and short-term limits in development zones. It’ll routinely modify the velocity in response to what’s greatest for battery life, in addition to upcoming corners and turning circles. It may possibly even intelligently settle into offset driving if multi-lane roads are too slender for side-by-side positioning.
There’s additionally intersection help, rear cross visitors help, and lane change and car exit warnings. 360-degree cameras may be fitted, producing not solely a top-down view however a 3D mannequin of the environment that may be panned and zoomed round. That comes into its personal with the Park Steering Help package deal, that may navigate into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking areas, ahead or backward.
Pricing and availability
Within the US, the 2019 Audi e-tron will kick off at $74,800 (plus $995 vacation spot; earlier than any incentives) for the Premium Plus mannequin. That gets 20-inch wheels, Audi side-assist with cross visitors alerts, navigation, the B&O 16-speaker audio system, 12-way energy entrance seats with heating and cooling, and leather-based seating surfaces, amongst different issues. Choices embrace a 19-inch wheel. US deliveries will start in Q2 2019.
The 2019 e-tron Status, at $81,800 (plus $995 vacation spot), provides a head-up show, Driver Help package deal, therapeutic massage seats, energy door closers, dual-pane acoustic entrance aspect home windows, Valcona leather-based and prolonged leather-based throughout the inside, and the Air High quality Package deal. It additionally consists of rear window sunshades and reminiscence for the entrance passenger seat. Choices embrace 21-inch wheels with all-season tires.
Lastly, there’ll even be a 2019 e-tron First Version, of which Audi will solely make 999 automobiles. That may mix a Daytona Grey exterior with 21-inch bi-color black wheels, Alu-Optic trim, and Dynamic orange brake calipers to match the orange highlights; there’ll be particular LED puddle-lamps, too. Inside, it’ll get Black Valcona leather-based with grey distinction stitching, and Volcano Grey Ash pure wooden inlays, along with Night time Imaginative and prescient Assistant, and the Chilly Climate Package deal with enhanced preconditioning. It’ll be priced at $86,700 (plus $995 vacation spot).
The 2019 e-tron will not be as a consequence of arrive till halfway by means of subsequent yr, however Audi is opening up its configurator and reservations system in the present day. There’s a refundable $1,000 reservation payment to stake your home in line.