Audi unveils electric SUV e-tron, challenges Tesla with assist from Amazon

Audi e-tron

The Audi e-tron, a five-passenger mid-sized SUV, is expected to be delivered to showrooms in the first part of 2019.

If more power is summoned or if the system detects wheel slippage, the e-tron will automatically activate its front electric motor. It ensures the continuous and variable regulation of the ideal distribution of drive torques between the two axles - within a fraction of a second.

"A key factor for the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low and central position at which the battery system is installed".

The German company's mid-sized SUV was revealed in Richmond, California, only about 40 miles from Tesla headquarters in Fremont, where the electric Model X SUV is made.

The E-Tron follows Jaguar's I-Pace electric SUV. Audi has developed an innovative recuperation system through which electric motors manages to recuperate energy when the driver lifts the foot of the pedal and when brake pedal is depressed.

Audi has unveiled its first ever, fully electric production model.

Audi e-tron
AudiAudi e-tron interior

The cleverly designed aerodynamics also contribute significantly to its efficiency. One high end option are virtual exterior mirrors - premiere in a series production auto. The vehicle kicks off a wave of new challengers into the market.

Similar in size to the Audi's popular Q5, the E-Tron starts at $75,795, and a refundable $1,000 will get you on the waiting list for one when deliveries begin early next year. Paired with high-quality materials and fine workmanship, it makes electric mobility a premium experience. At home, it can charge at 11kW in around eight hours and has the option to charge at 22kW too.

Audi said it will bring Alexa to more cars later this year. It is equipped with the high-end media center MMI navigation plus including LTE Advanced and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard.

An optional Driver Assistance Package adds an array of sophisticated safety and driver assistance technology including adaptive cruise control that includes adjusting for road conditions and curves, intersection assist, parking assist and a 360-degree camera system. The construction engine is a modular platform MLB Evo, and the latter recalls recently debuted the SUV Audi Q8 and Q3.

Inside the e-tron's cabin, two centrally mounted control touch screens - one 10.1 inches and the other 8.6 inches - are used for the infotainment system and cabin controls, while the instrument cluster features a version of Audi's adaptable screen display, allowing a more integrated map with Google Earth images. Audi has said that some European customers will have theirs before the end of 2018. The starting price of the electric SUV in Germany is 79,900 euros.

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