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Prototype vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.
Three sites set the stage for the Audi e-tron® to test 
aerodynamics, battery charge and energy regeneration.
The Audi e-tron® is a decade in the making, but the exacting nature of development and Audi tests make every one of those days worth it. Soon, the world will know what Audi e-tron means, what kind of vehicles they will be and how they will change what it means to buy an Audi.
Long before Audi e-tron models get to the road, they will have had to pass all kinds of tests: governmental tests and third-party tests. But first we needed them to pass our tests, to demonstrate that they’ll do what we’ve designed them to do—and do it to our satisfaction. We conducted these tests around the world, with stringent standards—and with the prototypes that lived to tell the tale.
Build your e-tron®
The Audi e-tron prototype achieves
a drag coefficient of 0.28.
Prototype vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.
Ingolstadt: Tunnel Visions
With any vehicle, wind can be a help—or it can be a drag. For electric vehicles, aerodynamic design is of the utmost importance because any increase in drag—i.e., wind resistance—means a big loss in efficiency and range. The Audi e-tron prototype achieves a drag coefficient of 0.28.
Tested in one of the world’s quietest wind tunnels at Audi headquarters in Ingolstadt, this mid-size SUV with a fully electric quattro® drivetrain was put in the eye of the hurricane, so to speak, to mimic the conditions in some of the world’s most extreme conditions. The test was geared for Audi engineers to optimize drag and noise, which are crucial for the vehicle’s efficiency as well as comfort. With the fan blowing at speeds of up to 186 miles per hour, we tested the prototype for more than 1,000 hours.
To achieve a drag coefficient of 0.28, Audi engineers developed a wide range of aerodynamic measures in all body areas, especially underbody design. Some of these technical solutions are evident at first glance, while others fulfill their purpose hidden from sight. Thanks to these solutions, the drag coefficient for the e-tron prototype is almost 0.07 less for a comparable, conventionally powered vehicle. With a typical usage profile, this approach to aerodynamics is designed to increase the potential range by approximately 21.7 miles on the WLPT test cycle when drawing from a full charge, or three miles for every .01 reduction in drag, per battery charge.[1]
Another important factor is the standard Audi adaptive air suspension—a pneumatic suspension with adjustable damping. At high speeds, it lowers the body by up to one inch below the normal position to reduce drag. The underbody of the all-electric SUV is fully enclosed; the front and rear areas are fully paneled. Underneath the passenger cell, an aluminum plate protects the high-voltage battery against damage from below, such as stone chipping or curbs. Its bolting points come with bowl-shaped indentations, similar to the dimples on a golf ball. This makes the air flow more smoothly, with less drag, than a completely flat surface.
The production version of the 
Audi e-tron prototype will be 
the first car on the market that 
can charge with up to 150 kW.
Prototype vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.
Berlin: Getting a Charge from Innovations
Built in 1958, the parabolic Faraday cage at the Siemens high-voltage test bay in Berlin has an impulse voltage generator the size of a house and can generate lightning impulses of up to three million volts. Flashes of light danced with a pulsating crackle over the Audi e-tron prototype’s roof.
The production version of the Audi e-tron prototype will be the first car on the market that can charge with up to 150 kW DC. In about 30 minutes, a 150 kW high-speed public charger can provide the e-tron with approximately 80 percent battery charge.[2]
This experiment symbolizes something that people have been dreaming of for thousands of years: to capture lightning bolts and use their energy. Today you still can’t use a lightning bolt to charge an electric car, but the engineers have come a step closer to realizing the vision of lightning-fast charging.
The key innovation for the battery is the sophisticated thermal management system. Located in the vehicle floor, it stores 95 kWh of energy.
In addition to fast charging with the direct current at charge stations, this electric SUV can be charged quickly with alternating current at AC chargers, with up to 9.6 kW standard for use at home.
The standard mobile charging system can be used in two ways: with a charging power of up to 1.2 kW AC when connected to a 120-volt household outlet[3] and with up to 9.6 kW AC when connected to a 240-volt outlet¹ that can be installed. In the latter case, the battery can be fully recharged in about nine hours.
Customers can define their personal priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive.
The e-tron accelerates from zero to 60 MPH
in about 5.5 seconds with Boost mode.
Prototype vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.
Pikes Peak: regeneration is all Downhill from Here
At 14,115 feet, Pikes Peak looms high in the southern Rocky Mountains. Audi has a long and famous connection with this iconic mountain in Colorado, where Audi Sport earned three overall victories in a row from 1985 to 1987 in the annual hillclimb event. Today, it’s the Audi e-tron prototype that’s causing a sensation with its sophisticated regenerative braking system.
With maximum output of up to 400 horsepower with boost engaged, this electric SUV accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds with Boost mode.[3] One important factor for the long range is the advanced regenerative braking system employed by the e-tron.
On its 19-mile downhill drive, the Audi e-tron prototype feeds so much energy back to the battery that the vehicle can cover approximately the same distance again on a flat surface. The difference in altitude of about 6,233 feet, along with gravity, provides the necessary conditions. Decelerating at 62 mph, the electric SUV regenerates energy with up to 221 lb-ft of torque and 220 kW of electric power—more than 70 percent of its operating energy input. No series production model has achieved such a value up to now.
The regenerative braking system contributes up to 30 percent of the electric SUV’s range and involves the two electric motors and the electrohydraulically integrated brake control system. For the first time, three regeneration modes are available: manually controlled regeneration using the shift paddles, automatic regeneration via the predictive efficiency assist, and brake regeneration with smooth transition between electric and hydraulic braking deceleration. The Audi e-tron prototype regenerates energy solely via the electric motors and covers over 90 percent of all situations where deceleration is necessary. As a result, energy is fed back to the battery in practically all normal braking maneuvers.
The driver can choose the degree of regeneration in three stages using the steering wheel paddles. At the lowest stage, the vehicle coasts with no additional drag torque when the driver releases the accelerator pedal. At the highest stage, the Audi e-tron prototype reduces the speed noticeably. The driver can slow down and accelerate using only the accelerator pedal, which creates the one-pedal feeling. The use of the brake pedal is significantly reduced. The electrohydraulically integrated brake control system lets the electric SUV employ its maximum regeneration potential with support from the standard efficiency assist. The system uses radar sensors, camera images, navigation data and Car-to-X information to detect the traffic environment and the route. The driver is shown corresponding information in the Audi virtual cockpit plus as soon as it would be sensible to take the foot off the accelerator pedal. By interacting with the optional Audi adaptive cruise assist, the efficiency assist can decelerate and accelerate the Audi e-tron prototype predictively.
Audi Sport is forever entwined with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb because of our victories with the Sport quattro program, but with e-tron and its regenerative power, we can coast a little on our accomplishments.[4]
Explore e-tron® technology ↗
Prototype vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.