We’ve all heard quite a few rumors about the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept, about what it was going to be and how it as going to be styled. but the real thing will be released at the Frankfurt Motor Show so there’s no more speculating.
According to Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development, “Audi will present an all-electric, luxury-class sport SUV in early 2018. The Audi e?tron quattro concept provides a concrete foretaste of this,” Dr. Hackenburg continued to say “It combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort.”
Much of the speculation about the e-tron Quattro Concept was about the powertrain and if it would use the same setup as the Audi R8 e-tron. Well, it turns out that the e-tron Quattro will not use the exact same setup as the R8 e-tron, but it will be similar. Three electric motors will power the e-tron Quattro. One in the front axle, powering the front wheels, and two at the rear axle, one for each wheel. This will allow for real time torque vectoring all-wheel drive. This setup will provide the e-tron Quattro with 429 hp, with a temporary 496 hp boost function, and 590 lb-ft of torque. Audi claims this electric SUV can get from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is almost a second slower than the Tesla Model X’s claimed 3.8 seconds, and can reach a top speed of 135 mph.
The Audi e-tron Quattro Concept’s large lithium-ion battery is mounted low in the floor and in between the axles to provide a very low and narrow center of gravity. This allows for extremely sporting dynamics and handling. The 95 kWh battery’s range is a claimed 500 km (310 miles), which is significantly better than the Tesla Model X’s 240 miles. A full charge, while using a 150 kW connection, takes only 50 minutes, which is lightening-fast for an EV with 310 mils of range. Audi is also working on an inductive charging system, where the e-tron Quattro could be parked over an inductive charging platform and charge the batteries wirelessly. Tesla, BMW and Porsche are all working on similar systems.
In terms of handling, the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept will come with as-standard adjustable air suspension, adjustable dampers and all-wheel steering. The adjustable air suspension will automatically lower itself at high speed to reduce drag and increase aerodynamic efficiency. The rear-wheel steering will turn opposite the fronts at low speed, to effectively “reduce” the wheelbase, giving it a tighter turning circle. At high speed, the rear wheels will turn in the same direction as the fronts to effectively “lengthen” the wheelbase, giving it better high speed stability.
All in all, the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept looks incredibly promising. While a road-going version won’t be seen for quite a few years, it’s exciting to see what Audi has in store for us. While this isn’t exactly the Tesla Model X beater we were looking for, it still should be exciting when it finally debuts.