The Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept Debuts at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
Not content to let the forthcoming Tesla Model X have the electric crossover market all to itself, Audi’s E-Tron Quattro concept previews a production model the German company says will go on sale in early 2018.
Audi E-Tron Video:
Audi E-Tron Powered by 3 Electric Motors
Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, the crossover concept is not merely a clone of the 2016 Q7: it’s a little smaller, with the most notable difference its chopped roofline. If the look suggests an emphasis on performance over practicality, Audi’s specs confirm it: three electric motors (one powering the front wheels, and two out back) provide up to 496 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, good enough for a claimed 4.6-second sprint to 100 km/h. Tesla is promising more performance from its Model X, but Audi has much less to prove than Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
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As the Quattro name and the trio of motors suggest, all four wheels are powered, with the two rear motors looked after by a ‘torque control manager’ that splits power between the left and right wheels for “maximum dynamics and stability.”
Aerodynamic and Obviously Fuel-Efficient
Audi says the concept’s sleek look was conceived in the name of aerodynamics, which it says helped its engineers achieve the E-Tron Quattro’s 500-km driving range. Nifty features include electrically-actuated aerodynamic elements on the hood, flanks, and rear end that adjust automatically at speeds over 80 km/h to keep wind resistance to a minimum.
The concept has wireless induction charging capability, as well as the usual wired connection, but Audi’s claim of a full charge in 50 minutes is wishful thinking with current charging technology.
Organic LED lighting plays a major role here, with OLED head- and taillights, and interior displays comprised entirely of these panels, currently used in flatscreen TVs and computer monitors.
Audi is mum on production model pricing, but bet on a six-figure tag when it rolls into showrooms two-and-a-half years from now.