The challenge of claiming a leading place in the exploding electric car market is being met head on by German automaker Audi, which has just launched an all out marketing campaign for its new all-electric SUV, the Audi e-tron quattro.
Customers in the US will be able to reserve their very own four-wheel drive EV e-tron, following an event in the US today (Tuesday, Australia time). The e-tron is to be debuted next year in a variety of body variants including ‘Avant’ and ‘Sportback’, covering the spectrum of segments from compact to full-size SUV.
The launch of the e-tron will kickstart what looks to be a serious effort by Audi to shift their auto offerings towards powertrains not dependent on fossil fuels.
“The Audi e-tron is definitely a highlight in the history of our company and the starting signal for our electrification strategy,” said technical development board member Peter Mertens in a press release.
While the official unveiling of the e-tron is set to happen in San Francisco at 9pm PDT time (that is, 2pm today AEST), Audi have let a few cats out of the bag ahead of the big reveal.
Currently there is no US – or Australian – pricing, but Audi have so far put on record that in Europe, the electric SUV will go on sale for €80,000 (about $A130,000).
What we also know so far is that the e-tron will feature a 95kWh li-ion battery that the German automaker has mounted low down to ensure smooth driving dynamics.
Two electric motors sit above each of the axles, providing instantaneous torque and equal distribution of power to the ‘quattro’ powertrain.
Audi says drivers will be able to charge the e-tron to 80% within 30 minutes using a DC fast charger, and offer a 9.6kW AC charger for charging at home overnight.
Of course, the automaker is keeping at least one important detail under wraps before tonight’s reveal – the all-important factor of range – but promise that the e-tron will offer ‘ample range suitable for long-distance journeys are benchmarks in this class’.
Based on the specs of the battery, an educated guess suggests that it would be in the vicinity of that offered by the 100kWh Tesla Model X – up to 565 kilometres.
Following the launch of the e-tron, Audi says it will present their next electric concept, the Audi e-tron GT coupe, before the end of this year.
The e-tron GT, which will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show that is to be held from November 20 through to December 9, features tech that has been developed in collaboration with Porsche.
It’s just the start for Audi, whose green credentials extend as far CO2-neutral production processes at their Belgium factory, which is achieved via renewable energies and environmental projects.
As well as a partnership between Audi and Porsche to develop a Premium Platform Electric (PPE) for B to D segment vehicles, Audi are also working with other Volkswagen Group brands to develop a modular EV platform which will form the base for all of the 12 all-electric Audi models it is promising to offer by 2025.
As for the e-tron unveil? Keen Audi/EV fans can join in on the livestream event which is due to start in just a few hours.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.