Audi's all-electric SUV will go on sale later this year with a 95kWh battery pack, 249-mile range as measured on WLTP, and new charging tech.
Audi has revealed fresh details about its upcoming e-tron all-electric SUV, for which refundable R20 000 deposits are now being taken ahead of the Tesla Model X rival going fully on sale later this year.
While the original e-tron concept used a drivetrain consisting of three electric motors, the production model will feature just two, with one powering each axle. A 95kWh battery pack has been confirmed, made up of 36 shoebox style battery modules. The batteries are housed in the floor of the vehicle, which makes use of Audi's C-BEV platform.
A revised all-electric range has been issued under new, stricter WLTP testing standards. Audi claims that the e-tron will be capable of over 249 miles on a single charge, though we'll have to wait a little longer for some performance figures. On the charging front, Audi claims that the e-tron's extensive thermal management system will enable the car to recharge at a Tesla Supercharger-beating output of up to 150kW at DC charging stations. It means that at stations capable of charging at such a rate – such as the IONITY charging points currently being built by a wide group of European manufacturers – the e-tron will recharge from flat to 80 per cent in less than half an hour.
Audi will also launch what it calls the e-tron Charging Service, which it says will grant buyers access to around 80 per cent of Europe's charging points from launch, regardless of operator. Buyers will only have to carry one card – the e-tron card – rather than several for different charging suppliers. From mid-2019 onwards all e-tron models rolling off the firms Belgian production line won't need the card at all, and will support a system called Plug & Charge. The system will automatically authenticate the car at the charging station.
An 11kW home charger will be included as standard, enabling an 8.5 hour recharge. A 22kW system cuts this to 4.5 hours, and enables smart charging by selecting off-peak hours to recharge the vehicle if the owner desires.
The Jaguar I-Pace rivalling e-tron made a public debut of sorts at last month's Geneva Motor Show, with nearly 250 liveried-up development prototypes appearing on the streets. It was a move to steal the limelight away from Audi's British rival, which made its production-ready debut at the show.
The e-tron is the first vehicle in Audi's all-out assault on the premium SUV market, with eight new high-riding models due to arrive before the end of the decade. It's due to appear in production form in the second half of this year and our exclusive images reveal how it could look.