Audi on Monday staged the worldwide launch of a new electric sport utility vehicle on the home turf of competitor Tesla Inc, and highlighted a deal with Amazon.com Inc to make recharging its upcoming e-tron models easier. The Model X, which comes with either a 75- or 100-kWh battery pack, can travel up to 295 miles on a full charge.The I-Pace, which launched earlier this year as Jaguar Land Rover's first-ever electric vehicle, can eke up to 240 miles on a 90-kWh battery.
The e-tron interior will seem familiar from Audi's latest redesigned models, such as the new Q8, including a configurable instrument cluster and the new two-touchscreen multimedia and control system with 10.1-inch and 8.6-inch screens.
Audi officials stated they do not have official range numbers for the e-tron SUV under US testing procedures. That would equate to more than 248 miles of range on a full charge, based on European testing, Audi said.
Still, the question for many is whether the E-tron will successfully challenge Tesla's dominance of the luxury EV market. The e-commerce brand will also deliver the hardware and hire electricians to install them through its Amazon Home Services operation. The nose of the e-tron is familiar but with a more aerodynamic shape, including a sleeker interpretation of Audi's signature Singleframe grille with a platinum gray finish to signify the SUV's electric drivetrain.
Looking to take on Tesla in its very own backyard in partnership with Amazon, Audi has launched its very first, product ready electric vehicle.
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The e-tron (all lower case like quattro), is purely battery powered, has motors back and front for all-wheel-drive and keep its batteries under the floor for a low centre of gravity and 50:50 weight distribution. The e-tron will be the first of three battery-electric vehicles that Audi will debut by 2020, as the company anticipates that one in every three of its US customers will buy an electric vehicle by 2025.
That system will not be available in the United States because safety regulations here don't allow for it. Audi executives said they are working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to bring this feature to the American market.
In Europe, the vehicle will use cameras instead of conventional mirrors to give drivers a view to the rear. The image is displayed on each side of the interior, and while they're more aerodynamic and can cut noise, they also pose other potential issues and are not yet allowed by USA regulators.
The e-tron ticks all of the right boxes for a next-generation, all-electric luxury SUV.
In the E-Tron, the driver will be able to select how aggressively the auto uses this system, allowing for "one pedal" driving in which taking pressure off the accelerator pedal will slow the vehicle to a full stop using only the motors. The purchase of an e-tron will include 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.