Audi has released more details for the e-tron – its first all-electric SUV, claiming 30 per cent of its driving range comes from highly efficient energy recuperation. Around 90 per cent of all braking will be taken care of by the electric motors putting energy back into its battery pack, with the conventional brakes only required for stops of more than 0.3g. It has been given an official WLTP range of 248 miles.
The amount of recuperation can be altered in three stages using paddles behind the steering wheel, with the weakest allowing coasting when the accelerator is released. The strongest setting results in a strong braking force as you release pressure on the accelerator, allowing normal driving using only the right pedal. During testing along the 19-mile descent of the famous Pikes Peak hill climb, the SUV harnessed enough energy to cover the same distance again. Driving range should also be improved by a standard efficiency assist system that uses the radar sensors, cameras, navigation and traffic information to judge when it’s best to use recuperation, optimise automatic braking and acceleration when adaptive cruise assist is fitted and provide tips in the digital instrument display.
When the battery is depleted, the e-tron is expected to be the first model capable of using a new network of 150kW charging points, allowing a top-up in less than 30 minutes. Widespread 11 and 22kW chargers can also be used with charging times of around 8.5 and just over four hours. Audi will also enable e-tron customers to subscribe to a single charging contract that enables the use of 80 per cent of charging stations with one card and no physical payment.
In the prototype there are two driving modes: D and S, with the first providing 355bhp and 414lb ft of torque – peak power that the two electric motors can sustain for up to 60 seconds. In S, pushing the accelerator pedal to the maximum accesses ‘boost mode’, with 402bhp on tap for eight seconds, giving a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds. Its maximum speed is limited to 124mph.
New electrohydraulic actuation braking technology designed for the e-tron should also improve safety, with full autonomous braking possible within 150 milliseconds of initiation, shortening its braking distance by up to 20 per cent.
The Audi e-tron is set to be revealed to the world this month, with the first examples reaching UK Audi showrooms early next year (2019).