New electric cars seem to be launched with regularity these days. These past few days alone we’ve reported on the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQC400 SUV and the Aston Martin Rapid E. Both are series production models that feature solely electric propulsion. And now we have the Audi e-tron.

A first for Ingolstadt

Audi has been using the e-tron name for some time now, especially as it related to the company’s Le Mans-winning racecars. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the first model to carry the moniker is an SUV. It is the first of twelve production e-automobiles Audi plan to launch by 2025. The next model Audi will present is the e-tron GT concept showcar at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Audi e-tron is the first fully electrically powered series production model from the brand. The all-electric SUV is powered by two powerful electric motors. The term Quattro takes on new meaning in the Audi e-tron as all-wheel drive is by electrically, instead of mechanical means. Adaptive electronic control ensures continuous and variable distribution of torque between the two axles.

Audi engineers sited the cars battery system low and centrally to aid its dynamics. Audi says that during deceleration, the Audi e-tron recovers energy via its electric motors. The 95-kWh battery is said to be good for over 320 km.

A design first

We’ve seen it before many times on concept cars, and now we finally have a production car without mirrors. The optional virtual exterior mirrors reduce aerodynamic drag. Info on what’s going on behind is taken care of by rear-facing cameras.

The Audi e-tron features high-end MMI navigation plus including LTE Advanced and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. Included in this suite is the e-tron route planner. The optimised system displays the best route with required charging points. Standard efficiency assist promotes an economic driving style by displaying predictive information and performing automatic recuperation.

The Audi e-tron rolls off the assembly line at the CO2-neutral plant in Belgium. European deliveries are planned for late 2018.

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