We’ve driven Audi’s first proper electric car, the 2019 e-tron SUV

Jonathan Gitlin


Due To The Fact That Audi was just using e-tron drives in Abu Dhabi, we chose to accept paid flights and 2 nights in a hotel in order to attend this occasion, instead of needing to wait a minimum of 6 months to drive the automobile.

In the wake of its emissions scandal, Volkswagen Group has actually been on an objective to transform itself. After staking its track record on diesel, the German car manufacturer has actually carried out a volt e face; electrical energy is now the future. It’s investing billions on establishing brand-new battery electrical automobile platforms, billions structure a United States network of high-speed battery chargers, and has dedicated billions more to secure battery products. And now, lastly, the very first of these efforts has actually started to flourish.

Behold, the very first– however absolutely not the last– battery electrical automobile from VW Group. One that has actually been created from the ground up to be powered by electrons: the Audi e-tron. We got our very first great take a look at a fancy launch occasion in San Francisco this previous September, and now we have actually lastly had a possibility to drive it. After 24 hours on airplane after airplane, we put the e-tron through its rates on and off the roadways. Along the method, we validated a few of our prejudgments about this brand-new BEV and broken others.

There’s no rejecting this electrical SUV is creative, as is the method it has actually been placed in the market. Similar to any electrical vehicle, it will not be for everybody. And kid was I incorrect about what a number of us believed would be the vehicle’s coolest brand-new innovation. Here’s what we discovered.

Under the skin, it’s an Audi

Every couple of months it looks like I’m discussing yet another brand-new electrical VW called I.D. something-or-other that utilizes VW Group’s brand-new MEB electrical automobile architecture. Forget everything about MEB when it concerns the e-tron, due to the fact that MEB is for smaller sized automobiles. Within the business leviathan that is the VW Group, Audi is taking the lead for bigger electrical automobiles (like this one and Porsche’s soon-to-arrive Taycan sedan), and in the meantime it will utilize a customized variation of the exact same MLB Evo automobile architecture that offers the foundation for vehicles and SUVs like the A8, Q7, Panamera, and so on.

All the suspension pickup points are the exact same as any other MLB Evo automobile, as is the internal electronic architecture (infotainment in addition to motorist helps) and the environment control system. However undoubtedly there are some distinctions. Rather of an internal combustion engine, each axle sports its own asynchronous electrical motor, each of which includes a cooling lance going through it. At the front, this is parallel to the axle, however ignore an enormously spacious “frunk”; much of the area under the hood is used up by the cooling system, power electronic devices, and onboard Air Conditioner battery charger. At the back, the motor is coaxially installed for much better product packaging and 50: 50 weight circulation.

Overall power and torque output is 355 hp (265 kW) and 413 lb-ft (561 Nm) in typical conditions, which can increase to 402 hp (300 kW) and 490 lb-ft (664 Nm) for brief bursts– about 8 seconds– when the e-tron remains in its sportiest setting. (The front motor is ranked at 168 hp at 182 lb-ft (125 kW at 247 Nm), increased to 181 hp and 228 lb-ft (135 kW and 309 Nm), the rear usually offers 188 hp (140 kW) at 232 lb-ft (314 Nm) however can enhance to 221 hp (165 kW) and 262 ft-lbs (355 Nm)).

The battery placing follows basic BEV procedure and lies in between the axles and below the traveler compartment. It’s developed like a sandwich, beginning at the bottom with a 3.5 mm aluminum security plate. Next is the liquid cooling system, then a real estate tray, and on top of that the cell modules–36 in all. Each module consists of 12 versatile 60 Ah cell pouches, and private modules can be changed if essential. A really strong battery frame surrounds the modules and battery pack to offer crash security.

Above the cells is another aluminum cover, then the battery junction box at the front, and another trine more battery modules at the back. The battery is ranked at 95 kWh with a small voltage of 396 V. That offers the e-tron a WLTP-determined series of 248.5 miles (400 km), although Audi is still waiting on the more precise EPA score to be figured out. The pack is warrantied for 8 years or 100,00 0 miles, and Audi states it is ensured to preserve a minimum of 70 percent of its capability at the eight-year mark.

The appearances will not terrify anybody

When Audi set out to make its very first correct BEV, the objective was very first and primary for it to suit the lineup without terrifying anybody off. So forget the extremely aerodynamic “bar of soap” appearance of a Tesla or the futuristic method Jaguar took with the.
I-Pace; squint and the e-tron might be a Q8. It has actually been placed in the market as such, too; a five-seat SUV– crucial for United States sales– that’s a sector size smaller sized than the seven-seat Tesla Design X and, likewise, a sector size bigger than either the I-Pace or.
Mercedes-Benz’ EQC

To get particular, the e-tron is 193 inches (4,901 mm) long, 76 inches (1,935 mm) large, and 64 inches (1,616 mm) high, with a 115- inch (2,928 mm) wheelbase. A Design X is 198 inches ( 5,037 mm) long, 79 inches (1,999 mm) large, 66 inches (1,676 mm) high, and has a 117- inch (2,964 mm) wheelbase, and an I-Pace steps 184 inches (4,682 mm) long, 79 inches (2,011 mm) large, 61 inches (1,565 mm) high, with a 118- inch (2,990 mm) wheelbase.

The style is more aerodynamic than your typical Audi SUV fare, however. There’s an air drape at the front to carry air down the sides and far from the rough disorderly mess that usually occurs when turning wheels satisfy the air flow. The wheel styles are aero-optimized. The front air consumption inside the business Audi grill is an active style that can close for much better aero effectiveness when required. Under the automobile there are splitters ahead of the front wheels, a dimpled underbody cover underneath the battery, front and rear underbody spoilers, and rear-axle Gurney flaps The most visible concession to cutting drag are those profile cams– you understand, the ones we will not get here in the United States. However more of those later on. In general, this offers the e-tron a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.27, or 0.28 in US-spec with standard reflective side mirrors.

On the within, whatever is as you ‘d anticipate from an Audi, which indicates superior workmanship and a restrained sophistication. The seats are comfy, and the black panel dash conceals the two-screen infotainment system when it’s switched off. It’s the current variation of MMI, and while it stays (in our viewpoint) the finest infotainment system on the marketplace, if I’m being totally truthful I believe Audi has actually opted for too light a typeface (i.e. how thick the lines are on each character). I make sure that UI choice was made as an outcome of changing to greater resolution screens. The leading screen is where the majority of the infotainment operates live, a 10.1- inch, 1,540 ×720 pixel touchscreen. Listed below it is an 8.6-inch, 1,280 ×660 touchscreen that is the irreversible house of the environment settings. Both screens likewise include haptic feedback, which ought to enable e-tron owners to establish some muscle memory for eyes-off operation.

Ahead of the motorist is a 3rd digital display screen, the current advancement of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit tech. Once again, this stays my preferred application of a digital instrument display screen– up until now just Audi appears to be believing beyond the rectangle-shaped box to fill the whole binnacle.