European model shown.
With the 2019 Audi e-tron®, we
flip the switch on electric mobility.
flip the switch on electric mobility.
The atmosphere inside the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, Calif., felt charged with expectations in mid-September 2018. After months of anticipation, Audi officially took the wraps off its first fully electric production vehicle, the 2019 Audi e-tron®. The unveiling—in front of media members and live-streamed to a global audience—marked the start of a new era for the company with the Four Rings. On that day, mobility took the route towards greater sustainability because electric has gone Audi.
Introduced as a concept at the Geneva International Motor Show in March 2018, the SUV later appeared in prototype form wearing a graphic camouflage. Not only the first Audi fully electric production vehicle, this model marks the beginning of the e-tron sub-brand that will include more fully electric vehicles. Audi plans to offer as many as 12 electric or hybrid models by 2025 as part of an anticipated goal to have 30 percent of overall vehicle sales made up of electric or hybrid vehicle sales in 2025.
Audi aficionados can tell you that the e-tron name first appeared in 2009 on a low-slung, electrically powered concept vehicle that signaled the beginning of the company’s commitment to research and development of alternative drivetrain systems. The results of those years of R&D debuted in the plug-in hybrid Audi A3 Sportback e-tron and now the fully battery-powered Audi e-tron SUV. The e-tron is not currently available in dealerships. Interested parties can reserve an e-tron through Audiusa.com.
A closer look at the new model’s styling reveals signature Audi design sophistication. Like other SUVs in the Audi model lineup, the e-tron is shaped with confident, broad shoulders and well-defined fender blisters above the wheels that pay respect to the original Quattro coupe.
The lower mid-section tapers to visually trim the waistline, and the rear taillights are connected by a horizontal band of light, much like other recently introduced models like the Audi A8 and the Audi Q8. Sizewise, the Audi e-tron fits between the mid-size Audi Q5 and the full-size Audi Q7. Viewed in profile, the Roof line looks similar to the sporty silhouette of the Audi Q8. The front grille features an eight-sided Singleframe® grille and vertical chrome accents also seen in the Audi Q8. Either from a distance or up close, the e-tron stands out as a singular, distinctive design while retaining the trademark elements of Audi design DNA.
During its development, a fleet of Audi e-tron prototypes logged nearly three million miles of testing and were subjected to the extreme heat of the desert and the frigid conditions of the Arctic to help ensure consistent performance.
The Audi e-tron will be available in Premium Plus and Prestige trim levels and a spectrum of paint colors ranging from the bold hue of Catalunya Red to the more reserved Typhoon Gray. An available Edition One package for the Audi e-tron will feature additional exterior design elements, exclusive Daytona Gray pearl paint, Edition One puddle lighting and night vision assistant as standard equipment.
Audi designers and engineers spent more than 1,000 hours in the wind tunnel finding ways to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic efficiency and help reduce power consumption. For example, the fully paneled underbody can help reduce air turbulence, and movable shutters within the Singleframe® grille help improve aerodynamic efficiency at highway speeds. These features and the precise shaping of the exterior help the e-tron achieve a drag coefficient of .30.
The interior design of the Audi e-tron maintains the Four Rings tradition of fusing ergonomic excellence with modern style and luxury features. Like recent Audi models, the dashboard of the e-tron features the digital touchscreen displays of the MMI® touch response system to operate infotainment and climate controls as well as the configurable display modes of Audi virtual cockpit plus.
Standard equipment includes 12-way power front seats with heating and ventilation; an expansive panoramic sunroof; and a Bang & Olufsen® Premium Sound System with 3D sound and 16 speakers. The e-tron is the first Audi to incorporate the integration of Amazon Alexa, [3,4] the voice-activated assistant that can help drivers find an address, play a favorite song, manage a shopping list, and much more.
Powering the Audi e-tron® into a new era of mobility is a 95 kWh battery placed low and between the axles for a low center of gravity and dynamic handling. The lithium-ion battery is housed within an aluminum honeycomb structure and a protective lower aluminum panel. The battery system features active liquid cooling to help keep the battery at optimal temperatures for performance and to facilitate the recharging process. The 95 kWh battery, when driven by the front and rear motors, can propel the Audi e-tron from 0–60 mph in 5.5 seconds.
Sizewise, the Audi e-tron fits between the mid-size Audi Q5 and the full-size Audi Q7.
The battery system’s ability to regenerate power is also impressive. The Audi e-tron features advanced regenerative braking systems that can return energy to the battery system. Recent testing on Pikes Peak in Colorado showed that, on the 19-mile descent from the top of Pikes Peak, the system can recuperate enough electrical power to drive the vehicle nearly the same distance on a flat surface. The system allows the driver to select from several regeneration modes to accommodate driving style and efficiency preferences.
Drivers also can choose from different charging options at home and in public. An available home-based charger with 9.6 kW output can charge the Audi e-tron overnight. When plugged into a 150 kW public charger, the e-tron can charge up to 80 percent of the battery in about 30 minutes. The Audi e-tron introduction coincides with efforts by programs such as Electrify America to multiply the number of available, public charging stations and, with its level of connectivity, the e-tron can show drivers the locations of the nearest available charging stations while on the road.
Audi designers and engineers spent more than 1,000 hours in the wind tunnel finding ways to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamic efficiency and help reduce power consumption.
Two motors, one per axle, are designed to convert the power from the 95 kWh battery into motion and form a new generation of quattro® all-wheel drive for battery-powered vehicles. The Audi e-tron with quattro® technology helps the vehicle achieve the type of performance for which Audi is famous. Sensors monitor traction conditions to determine how much power will be generated and how it will be allocated between front- and rear-drive axles. Because electric motors can generate optimal torque output in fractions of a second, the e-tron® is designed to respond more quickly to throttle inputs than traditional internal combustion vehicles do.
A sophisticated air suspension system with adjustable ride height takes advantage of the low center of gravity and the favorable weight distribution created by the battery placement. Featuring multiple driving modes, drivers can use the Audi drive select feature to find their preferred ride and handling settings.
The new Audi e-tron is being built in an advanced manufacturing facility at Audi Brussels in Belgium. Certified as CO2 neutral by the Belgian testing company Vincotte, the facility features the largest photovoltaic system in the region. In addition to using solar panels to generate energy, the factory is heated with biogas. The Audi Brussels factory includes facilities for production of the batteries and motors as well as paint and final assembly.
A comprehensive suite of available driver assistance systems aims to further enhance the driving experience. The Audi e-tron is equipped with multiple radar and ultrasonic sensors, a laser scanner as well as front and rear cameras to help monitor activity around the vehicle. Features such as adaptive cruise assist can help drivers maintain a preset distance to the vehicle in front while Audi adaptive cruise control is engaged, and Audi active lane assist can provide steering wheel corrections to help keep the vehicle within the lane markers. Intersection assist and Rear cross traffic assist helps monitor activity in front and behind the vehicle, and they can notify the driver with audible and visual alerts and, in some cases, intervene with automated application of the braking system.
New eras debut with fundamental shifts in philosophy and approaches to new solutions. The Audi e-tron represents the most profound shift in the company’s long history, but the catalyst for that shift is rooted in its core ethos of furthering progress through technology. The e-tron shows that battery-powered mobility can be achieved without compromising what makes an Audi an Audi.