A month ago Audi announced preliminary information on the Audi e-Tron Quattro concept car, an all-electric SUV with a 300ish mile electric range. The press went goo-goo thinking that Audi is launching a Tesla-killer, when in fact this car (if it goes to production) will be several years behind the Tesla Model X and is highly unlikely to present a threat. Now that the Frankfurt International Motorshow is underway, Audi has released more details.
Audi calls the e-Tron Quattro a “foretaste of the production version” and suggests this car will go on sale in early 2018. “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,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development. “It combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort.”
Nowhere in the press release is Tesla Motors or the Model X named. Going by the specs, Audi is looking to surpass the capabilities of the Model X. However, the promise made by the Model X is more than the specs, since Tesla Motors is delivering not just the car but a complete ecosystem of service centers and supercharger stations (free fuel for cross country road trips).
The e-tron quattro concept car has three electric motors, one for the front axle and two motors for the rear. Combined total power output is 370 kiloWatts, or well over 400 horsepower, or 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque. The 0-60 miles/hr time is 4.6 seconds and while that’s nothing to sneeze at the fully spec’d version of the Model X will do it a bit more quickly.
The three motors do more than just give quick acceleration. Audi’s engineers use it for driving dynamics, finely adjusting the torque delivered to each wheel depending on moment-moment situations.
The battery pack capacity is a whopping 95 kiloWatt-hours. That’s bigger than Tesla’s current biggest battery pack, which has 90 kiloWatt-hours capacity. But we can expect Tesla to have upped their battery packs by then.
Audi claims the e-tron quattro concept car gets more than 500 kilometers (310.7 mi) driving range. At a 150 kiloWatt ComboChargingSystem charging station, the full recharge time will be about 50 minutes. But, will anyone install CCS stations at such a power level? Tesla Motors is installing 120 kiloWatt Supercharger stations today, and might upgrade the power for the future. But both CHAdeMO and CCS stations in the field today max out at 50 kiloWatts. There are indications charging station companies are exploring higher powered DC fast charging stations, and some car makers are testing 100 kiloWatt DC fast charging, but is there any clue those will actually be installed in the field?
The most surprising thing about the e-tron quattro is that it only seats four people. Really? Audi describes this vehicle as an SUV, but it only seats four? WTF?
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