The Audi E-Tron is the first all-electric car to be introduced by the leading German luxury vehicle manufacturer. The car made its global debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show and was later showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The 2020 Audi E-Tron sports utility vehicle (SUV) had its commercial rollout in March 2019 and is available in the Sportback 50 and Sportback 55 trims. The latter is expected to come to the US in fall 2020.
Here are 13 unique things about the Audi E-Tron:
1. Spacious SUV
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The E-Tron is 1,935mm in width, 4,901mm in length, and 1,616mm in height. With a wheelbase of 2,928mm, the car offers the spaciousness and comfort of a typical Audi SUV with generous legroom. Since there’s no transmission channel, passengers get a roomy interior. The car has 660-liter luggage carrying capacity, along with 60 extra liters under the hood at the front. The latter is largely dedicated to store tools, a first-aid kit, and the charging wire.
2. Oversized Touchscreen
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The Audi E-Tron interior is dominated by a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is used to operate all vehicle functions. The air-conditioning buttons are placed just below it. Being an electric vehicle (EV), the E-Tron has no hand brake or gear lever. The space can be used as a storage compartment with a phone charging station. The car has four more screens, one each for the Audi Virtual Cockpit and the climate control. The other two screens are on either side of the door pads to display the feed from the outside rearview cameras. The car has cameras instead of traditional outside rearview mirrors (OVRMs).
3. Powerful Electric Motors
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The 2020 Audi E-Tron is hauled by dual electric motors, mounted on each of the two axles. The front motor produces 125kW, while the rear unit outputs 140kW. The combined power output of the car is 265kW (355bhp). It produces a peak torque of 561Nm. The Ingolstadt headquartered company is also offering a boost mode in the car which has a power output of 300kW (408bhp).
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4. Intelligent Load Distribution
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The drive components of the 2020 Audi E-Tron are installed in the lower central parts of the chassis. The car has a 50:50 axle load distribution. The 95kW, 510kg battery is placed between the axles. The vehicle’s center of gravity is almost identical to a sedan hauled by an internal combustion engine (ICE).
5. New MEB Platform
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The 2020 Audi E-Tron is underpinned by the Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten (MEB) platform developed by Volkswagen. The new platform, according to Audi, will reduce the number of microprocessors in an EV. One of the most important Audi E-Tron specs, the MEB platform will have a range of driver-assist technologies and somewhat change the way cars are built. The platform monitors wheelbases and axles and analyses their interactions.
6. Neat Design
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Audi has built an EV that abjures any extreme piece of design. The E-Tron looks better than Q8 and has a neater grille with silver highlights. The headlights are tidy and don’t forge a visual mass on the car’s bottom section. Vehicle-spanning LED strips at the back joins the slim taillights. The 2020 E-Tron is more aerodynamic than the Q8. The latter has prominent exhaust outlets for its ICE.
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7. Feature-rich Car
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The 2020 E-Tron is a feature-rich car that comes with a great looking digital instrument cluster, a wireless hotspot. The entry-level version of the all-electric car has a Bang and Olufsen audio system, four-zone climate control, and surround-view camera setup. The optional Towing package allows the E-Tron to haul up to 4,000lbs. The Cold Weather package adds heated windshield washer jets, enhanced in-cabin preconditioner and heater, and heated outboard rear seats.
8. Enhanced Safety Features
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The E-Tron comes with Audi’s entire suite of active safety features at no additional costs. These include blind-spot monitoring, full-speed adaptive cruise control, vehicle exit sensor, automatic emergency braking, lane centering, traffic sign recognition, and lane departure warning. On the highway, the safety features are proactive and non-intrusive. The safety apparatus works in the background. The car is subtly nudged to the center of the lane in case of overlapping, with a gentle application of the brakes.
9. 30-minute Charging
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Audi claims that the E-Tron’s battery can be recharged up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes using a 150kW charger. A normal, domestic 240v power outlet will take around 11 hours to fully recharge the battery. The company claims that the run-range of the E-Tron can be increased by up to 30 percent through regenerative braking. That aside, Audi has equipped the car with what it calls the Range Mode and Efficiency Assist technology which helps to optimize the energy consumption.
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10. 400km Range
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The Audi E-Tron, according to Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), returns a mileage of 400km on a single recharge. The SUV reaches a top speed of over 200kmph and can make 0-100kmph in 5.7 seconds in the boost mode. The all-electric SUV can be recharged with alternating current (AC) at up to 11kw. A 22kw recharging option is also available.
11. Multiple Driving Modes
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The E-Tron is equipped with four preset driving modes. The car, in each of these modes, shows a different character. The E-Tron can be run both as a powerful racing vehicle and as a freeway cruiser. Audi, to make the handling more precise, has introduced three additional settings — snow, wet, and dry in the performance mode.
12. Redesigned Controls
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The Audi E-Tron interior has a virtual cockpit with modern lighting effects and high-end animation. This is one of the most important brand innovations which Audi has carried out for the E-Tron. The graphics processor has been manufactured by technology giant Nvidia, with whom Audi has partnered for years. The car’s tachometer has a 60fps display and shows the speed with the highest possible precision.
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13. Light-colored, Recycled Interior
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One of the major Audi E-Tron specs is the car’s light-colored interior which forges a feeling of spaciousness. Beige and white dominate the cabin while the dark-colored carpet creates an effect of depth. The upper section of the dashboard and the window pillars are fitted with microfiber textures. The car’s floor is manufactured from recycled materials, while the seats are upholstered with Alcantara.
The E-tron is Audi’s answer to the burgeoning breed of crossover SUVs. The car, while not innovative as the Tesla Model X or stylish as the Jaguar I-Pace, is more on the utilitarian side without compromising on luxury. The 2020 Audi E-Tron is intended to further strengthen the advantages of an EV in a rather traditional package that highlights the company’s luxury pedigree.