Owners of older Audi E-Tron SUV examples are in for a treat as the German luxury brand has developed a software update that unlocks a bit more range. You’ll have to head to your local dealership to take advantage of the upgrade as this isn’t an over-the-air update you simply download by using the vehicle’s infotainment system. The good news is Audi makes it completely free, so we think it’s well worth the effort.
Ok, but what does the software update actually do? Well, it increases the usable capacity of the battery pack to 86 kWh, which in turn boosts the range. Specifically, Audi says you should be able to squeeze out as much as 20 kilometers (12 miles) of additional range, which might not sound like much, but since it’s a no-cost upgrade, we’d do it in a heartbeat.
According to the peeps from Ingolstadt, the software revision can be installed in a total of 34,000 examples of the E-Tron 55 Quattro. These were assembled during the 2019 and 2020 model years, specifically between mid-September 2018 and late November 2019.
There’s more to it than that as aside from making the battery last longer between charges, the tweaks extend to how the electric motor used at the front is used. When the normal driving mode is engaged, the E-Tron SUV is almost a pure rear-wheel-drive vehicle by turning off the front e-motor almost completely to improve efficiency. It’s only when extra power is needed the front motor is activated and thus Quattro is engaged.
If these benefits aren’t enough to convince you, the software available to the Brussels-built electric SUV also includes changes to the cooling system. It reduces the volume flow rates in the coolant circuit to diminish energy consumption and therefore achieve even greater efficiency.
If you have the E-Tron 55 from the current year, the software update is not necessary since Audi already builds the vehicle with these improvements, enabling a WLTP range of 274 miles (441 kilometers).