We were expecting to see the Audi e-tron in the flesh in August, but the folks in Ingolstadt decided to postpone the EV’s reveal to an undetermined date. While Audi didn’t explicitly say why, it likely has something to do with the recent arrest of now-former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. However, Audi seems to have decided to give us a bit of an early look at the upcoming e-tron, seemingly as sort of an apology for its official delay. In these photos from the Copenhagen, Denmark, we get to see the Audi e-tron Prototype running around and we get a full look at its interior.
Inside the Audi e-tron, we’re met with an interior that’s similar to that of the Audi Q8 but with a bit of a high-tech flare. The dash of the e-tron is more three-dimensional and its air vents stop at the end of the MMI screen, which is a departure from the rest of modern Audi cabins, which have the front air vents span the length of the dash. The door panels are similar to the Q8’s as well, just with one major difference — screens.
We knew that the Audi e-tron would be the first-ever production car to replace its side mirrors with cameras and display that feed onto little screens in the door panel. However, we hadn’t actually seen how it would work. Now, we get a full view of those screens and they look strange and fascinating. Without having used them, we can’t say whether or not we’ll like them. It seems a bit unusual and I personally wonder if they’ll be adjustable, as mirrors are. Thankfully, the screens seem big enough so that it isn’t difficult to grab a quick glance at them and they look very high-def. Though, it must be said, that it’s not likely these cameras are street legal anytime soon. But we know the tech is there.
On the center console, we can see a new shift lever, that seems very wide and a bit more high-tech than the one we’ve seen on other new Audis. There’s also a little up and down arrow featured on a little bit of aluminum, right where your thumb seems to go. So we wonder if you slide the entire level back and forth or you just press one of those little arrows, to actually engage a forward or reverse gear. What’s interesting is that there’s also a Sport mode, just like there is on any other automatic-equipped Audi, which is located at the “D/S” selector and is engaged by just clicking down once more after engaging Drive. For an EV, that’s pretty cool.
The Audi e-tron also seems to get its own version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. The shape of the entire panel is different, more squared off, and the graphics inside are more high-tech than any other Audi’s, showing off range and power consumption. It also looks incredibly legible and easy to read. We can see at the top of it that it retains all of the other cool features of Virtual Cockpit, such as the famously awesome navigation screen.
Apart from those few things, though, it really is quite similar to the interior of the Audi Q8. While the Q8 remains Audi’s flagship, the e-tron is more important and, arguably, cooler. It’s a fully electric SUV with two electric motors, one at each axle, 496 hp and 590 lb-ft and 250 miles of range. That’s pretty astonishing and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.