Audi has unveiled an innovative new electric concept car at the Shanghai Motorshow. Sporting Audi’s signature design and cutting-edge technology in the guise of a coupé, the four-door Gran Turismo Audi e-tron Sportback concept comes with a 429 BHP electric drive. Classic Audi elements combine with an array of trendsetting details including, a powerful yet emotive stance on the road tailored to perfectly complement the technology and package of the electric drive.
The Audi e-tron Sportback represents an important milestone for Audi along the road to electric mobility. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management, AUDI AG, confirmed: “Our Audi e‑tron will be starting out in 2018 – the first electric car in its competitive field that is fit for everyday use. With a range of over 500 kilometres and the special electric driving experience, we will make this sporty SUV the must-have product of the next decade. Following close on its heels, in 2019, comes the production version of the Audi e‑tron Sportback – a striking coupé version that is thrillingly identifiable as an electric car at very first glance.”
The e‑tron Sportback uses a configuration that will also be adopted in future production Audi models with all-electric drive; one electric motor on the front axle and two on the rear power all four wheels, transforming the high-performance coupé into a quattro in typical Audi style. 429 BHP of power – which can even reach 496 BHP in the boost mode – provides a fitting level of propulsion, with a sprint from 0 to 100 km/h achieved in just 4.5 seconds. With the battery’s energy content of 95 kilowatt-hours, its range is in excess of 500 kilometres (NEDC).
Similar to the e‑tron quattro concept, Audi’s e-tron Sportback concept car incorporates a liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, which is positioned between the axles below the passenger compartment. This installation position provides for a low centre of gravity and a balanced axle load distribution of 52:48 (front/rear). This gives the sporty SUV outstanding driving dynamics and driving safety compared with other vehicles in the segment. The battery can be charged by the Combined Charging System with dual connections for alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).
The concept car’s innovative lighting technology is visible by both day and night. Digitally controlled Matrix LED units at the front and rear produce an excellent light yield, whilst Digital Matrix projectors literally make their mark on the road ahead, turning light into a versatile, dynamic channel of communication with the surroundings. Audi boasts being the first in the world to adopt full LED headlights and gave Matrix LED technology, laser lighting and OLED technology a significant push towards their breakthrough. Audi’s latest concept car premieres a whole host of complex functions that will no doubt catch the attention of attendees at the Shanghai Motorshow, demonstrating the premium carkmaker’s commitment to driving the automotive industry in a new direction.
Dr. Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales, AUDI AG, understands the special significance of electric mobility for the market in China:
“We have made a conscious decision to give the Audi e‑tron Sportback its first showing here in Shanghai, as China is the world’s leading market for electric automobiles. That applies as much to the infrastructure and financial support as it does to sales. There are already about 150,000 charging stations in the country, with another 100,000 due to come on stream by the end of 2017. We are well equipped for this rapid growth, as within the next five years we will be offering five e‑tron models in China, including purely battery-powered vehicles with ranges well in excess of 500 kilometres, such as the Audi e‑tron Sportback.”
At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show Audi unveiled the Audi e‑tron quattro concept – the forerunner of the brand’s first all-electric-drive production automobile. As a radically reconfigured SUV, it offers a range of up to 500 kilometres with the spaciousness and comfort of a typical full-size automobile from Audi. It has the road performance of a high-performance sports car – the Audi e‑tron quattro sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in only 4.6 seconds. The production version of this pioneering electric SUV will appear on the market in 2018. The Audi e‑tron Sportback concept car will be followed by its production version in 2019.