Electric Audi on a

charge

Audi e-tron
Audi e-tron front threequarter
Audi e-tron rear threequarter
Audi e-tron rear
Audi e-tron boot
Audi e-tron charging point
Audi e-tron cockpit
Audi e-tron front seats
Audi e-tron rear seats

BAD news for the Jaguar I-Pace ⦠there's some serious competition on the way in the shape of Audi's first ever all-electric series production model.

Called the e-tron, this new full-size SUV will hit Audi dealerships early in 2019 with a price tag of £70,805 - not much more than the Jag when the Government's £4,500 electric car grant is lopped off.

With 400bhp on tap, the new Audi - revealed for the first time in emissions-conscious San Francisco - will have around the same power output as the Jag but, with less torque, its' 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds can't quite match the I-Pace's electrifying 4.8 second sprint.

But for non-stop electric motoring it's on a par with the Jag with a claimed range of at least 248 miles on the WTLP driving cycle.

The e-tron has powerful front and rear electric motors energised by a 95kW high-voltage battery and a new quattro electric all-wheel drive system. Like an F1 car, it can recover energy when it is coasting or braking.

A drive selection system allows the driver to vary the e-tron's characteristics between seven profiles depending on the driving situation, road conditions or personal preferences.

The system also influences the standard air suspension system which has adaptive dampers. The pneumatic springs adjust individually to the road conditions depending on the speed and the driver's preferences, varying the ride height by as much as 76millimetres.

Among a number of advanced high-tech features are optional virtual exterior mirrors - a world first in a series production model. Integrated into each of the mirror supports is a small camera transmitting images to high-contrast OLED displays inside the vehicle. The system cuts down drag making the car more aerodynamically efficient and thus helping battery power go further.

Indeed, Audi claims that the e-tron takes in-car digitisation to a whole new level with two large MMI touch response displays replacing nearly every conventional switch and control and many functions which can also be controlled via voice activation.

There's any number of driver-assistance systems including one which provides predictive tips to help the driver to conserve battery power. The system reads the road ahead using radar sensors, camera images and navigation data to detect the traffic environment and the route. In combination with adaptive cruise assist, the so-called efficiency assist can also brake and accelerate the electric SUV predictively.

And the e-tron will be the brand's first model to allow customers to add certain functions online whenever the need for them arises. For example, the LED headlights can be upgraded to matrix LED headlights with intelligently controlled high beams, and assist systems or infotainment extras such as DAB+ digital radio and the Audi smartphone interface can be added when the facility goes live in mid-2019.

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