Audi is launching what it claims is an ‘electrification offensive’ with the world premiere of the Audi e-tron in San Francisco. By 2025 Audi will offer twelve models with all-electric drive in the most important markets worldwide and hopes to achieve roughly one-third of its sales with electrified models.
The SUVs in this portfolio include the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback, which is due to make its debut in 2019. A series of models with classic body layouts such as Avant and Sportback will also be available. The range will cover every relevant market segment from the compact to the full-size class
Says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development at Audi AG:
“The Audi e-tron is definitely a highlight in the history of our company and the starting signal for our electrification strategy.”
- Twelve production e-models by 2025
- Electric drive in all key market segments
- Expansion of plug-in portfolio
The Audi e-tron and e-tron Sportback use components from Audi’s modular longitudinal platform. This and numerous innovative technologies primarily in the area of drive systems are giving rise to a separate product family of e-SUVs with electric quattro all-wheel drive. Audi claims they will offer Fast charging with up to 150 kW and ample range suitable for long-distance journeys.
Audi will present the first beneficiary of another e-platform by the end of 2018: the Audi e-tron GT concept showcar. A dynamic coupe with a flat floor assembly, it is set to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The technology it uses was developed in collaboration with Porsche.
Another joint project of the development departments at Audi and Porsche is the Premium Platform Electric (PPE). It will be the basis for multiple Audi model families with all-electric drive covering the high-volume B to D segments of the market.
Built-in Amazon Alexa on e-tron
Audi has integrated the Amazon voice service into the MMI (MultiMedia Interface) system of the Audi e-tron. Drivers don’t need an app on their smartphone to use it, nor do they have to pair their phone with the car. All they have to do is link the car to their Amazon account. They can then activate the voice service via the onboard voice control system. After saying the keyword “Alexa,” the LTE module in the MMI system establishes a connection via an Audi back-end and sends the queries to the Amazon servers. The content and information are played back through the car’s audio system.
Several Volkswagen Group brands are also collaborating on the development of the modular electrification platform (MEB), which serves as the basis for a series of Audi e-models, particularly in the high-volume A segment. One of these is being developed specifically for the requirements of China, the single most important market for Audi.
Audi will also greatly expand its range of plug-in hybrid automobiles. “In the future, virtually every market segment will include models powered by a combination of electric motors and a combustion engine, and that can be charged at an electric outlet,” says Board Member for Technical Development Mertens.
The Audi e-tron will be available in the UK from early 2019 with a RRP of £70,850. One high end option are virtual exterior mirrors – premiere in a series production car. Amazon Alexa will be available in the e-tron with seamless integration into the car’s MMI System