The advent of the electric car is here and no manufacturer can risk falling behind
The rise of electric cars is unstoppable. The movement started by Tesla — who deserves credit for the dynamic it helped create in the democratization of electric vehicles — is finally becoming widespread and German premium builders are making their first moves in an offense that will completely change the international automobile landscape for the next decades.
Audi’s bid is called e-Tron and, looking at the trends that still dominate the market, it makes sense that it is an SUV rather than an urban car or a high-end saloon. Premium SUVs are the most desirable models at the moment and the electric function does nothing to dispel that desire, quite the contrary.
The e-Tron uses a shorter version of the Q7’s platform, placing the batteries under the floor, on a flat bed, to make it as aerodynamic as possible. The smart use of space allows for a roomy, 600-litre car boot and another 60 litres under the hood. The aerodynamic performance of an electric vehicle is crucial and so Audi decided to replace the traditional rear-view mirrors with small cameras placed outside the car, which broadcast images on OLED screens fitted on the doors.
During the launching phase, the e-Tron is presented in a 55 Quattro version — 300 horsepower, 561Nm (360 horsepower and 664Nm in overboost mode) and heart-stopping performances for an SUV with 2.5 tonnes: it can reach 100km/h in just 5.4 seconds. There is an electric engine at each axle, fed by a set of 95kWh batteries. As far as autonomy goes, the e-Tron is advertised to withstand 417km with zero-emissions between charges, while the batteries take 30 minutes to reach their full potential when charged at 150kW. That number goes up to eight and a half hours if charged at 11kW.
On every other level, this is what we have come to expect from an Audi. The high-tech interior has two screens with MMI Navigation Plus system with 10.1 and 8.6-inch MMI Touch function, while the Virtual Cockpit infotainment software is better than ever. The build quality is amazing and the materials show that those with the know-how never forget: Audi still creates an atmosphere like no other.
The brand is so confident about the e-Tron that it offers an extended warranty of 2+2 years or 80,000km (this millage is also included in the maintenance plan for the first four years). The batteries have an eight-year warranty or for 160,000km. The future is now, and Audi has everything it takes to lead the new dawn of the car world.