Audi’s first all-electric SUV, the e-tron, revealed

Audi e-tron (Reuters pic)

SAN FRANCISCO: After being teased since 2016, Audi finally revealed its new and completely electric SUV, the e-tron, in San Francisco on Monday. The e-tron will be available in 2019.

This luxurious EV model will compete with the Tesla Model X and is the first automobile revealed in response to parent company Volkswagen’s promise made in March of this year to mass produce e-cars; this week that initiative received an official name: “ELECTRIC FOR ALL.” The plan is for the group to electrify all their vehicles by 2030 in an attempt to counter the VW emissions scandal of 2015, that is, when the EPA found a software in diesel engines that could detect when the emissions levels were being tested and alter the true value.

Volkswagen also announced Monday that the group intends to make 10 million electric vehicles in the first wave by investing US$7 billion in EV production, and this Audi e-tron is just the first of the wave – the Brussels plant is already producing 200 of these per day. They have officially become part of the luxury electric vehicle race alongside Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes, and of course, Tesla.

As for the specs, the e-tron seats 5 people and, as advertised, is 100% electric and can be charged at home or at public charging stations. Two models of the Audi e-tron will be available next year: The Premium Plus starting at US$74,800, and the Prestige starting at US$81,800.

Both will be equipped with dual asynchronous electric motors, city and side assist, LED headlights, a Bang & Olufsen® 3D Premium sound system, and heated and ventilated front seats among other features. Some of the more luxurious features on the Prestige model include front seats set in Valcona leather with massage functioning, an air quality package that ionizes and fragrances the air, and a complete Driver Assistance Package.

The 95kWh battery can be fully charged in nine hours, to 80% in 30 minutes, and can exceed 400km on a single charge, which makes it the second highest-capacity battery on the EV market, and it’s already available for reservation.