It may feel like Audi have been teasing us about their new fully electric model for a while, but that’s because they have. Happily, we can now announce a few more details concerning this highly anticipated fully electric SUV.
First of all, the new e-tron is going to be going on sale in the first few months of 2019, so not long at all before the order books open, but Audi hasn’t yet announced a date of the first deliveries. They have however announced that the entry-level model is going to go on sale from £71,490 and they will be championing a high-spec ‘Launch Edition’ model for £82,240.
The Launch Edition will come with a ‘comprehensive’ level of equipment, and this will include ‘Valcona’ leather upholstery, Matrix LED lighting at the front and back as well as virtual door mirrors and big 21-inch alloy wheels.
Audi hasn’t announced an official zero to sixty time just yet but they have announced it will be under six seconds, which means it won’t be quite as ridiculously fast as the Tesla models but it will still be more than quick enough. In terms of electric range, Audi has announced a total of 248 miles on one single charge of the e-tron, which is competitive and certainly good enough for most potential buyers.
At a 150 kilowatt ‘fast charging’ point, the e-tron will go from a flat battery to 80% full in roughly 30 minutes.
Perhaps the most fascinating piece of information we have received is about those virtual door mirrors, which have never been fitted to a car before. Basically, Audi has ditched wing mirrors, which doesn’t sound safe, but they have replaced them with high-resolution cameras which offer a wider angle than a traditional mirror would offer. These cameras then project the image onto two OLED high-resolution screens within the car. The cameras are self-cleaning and will heat up themselves in freezing conditions and prevent themselves from misting over.
Interestingly, the OLED displays will also adapt to the outside conditions, meaning if you are driving in the bright daylight the screens will adjust to become more clear, and if you go through a tunnel they will instantly change in brightness and contrast to suit the environment.
This may seem like a lot of technology just to replace wing mirrors, but the spin-off is that the car is now 15 centimetres narrower than a model with traditional wing mirrors fitted.
Other than the gadgets, what else is there to look forward to?
Well the e-tron, as you can see from the photos, is a 5 seat SUV roughly similar in size to the Audi Q3. From the side profile, in particular, it looks just like any of the regular Audi SUV’s and it’s only really the blocked out front grille that really gives away the fact that it is electrically powered. All of this is very well thought out though.
See, the problem with a lot of Hybrid cars and Electric Vehicles is that they don’t look anything like the current cars on the road today. Their styling is too radical and its almost as if they have fast-tracked the evolution of vehicle design by 10 years or so. This e-tron, however, boasts all the styling and design cues that fit the current-day trends that have helped Audi perform so well with the rest of their SUV range already.
So, what do you make of Audi’s new e-tron? Is it the best looking electric SUV on the market or do you prefer the more radically designed electric options? Let us know in the comments section below.