At the on-going Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi has showcased the Audi e-tron quattro concept that hints Audi’s future of electric mobility.
“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. It combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort”, says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development.
The e-tron quattro uses the power of 3 electric motors: 1 electric motor drives the front axle, the 2 others act on the rear axle. Total output is 320 kW. The driver can even mobilize 370 kW and over 800 Nm of torque temporarily while boosting. The concept study thus performs like a sports car. When the driver floors the right pedal, the Audi e-tron quattro concept sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and quickly reaches the electronically governed top speed of 210 km/h.
According to the automaker, the three-electric motor layout is a first for the company. An intelligent drive management system controls the interplays between the motors, as appropriate for the situation. In other words, Audi just took the quattro all-wheel-drive system to a whole new level, although the focus is on the greatest possible efficiency. During sporty driving, the Torque Control Manager actively distributes the power between the rear wheels as necessary, whilst providing for maximum dynamics and stability.
The large lithium-ion battery is integrated into the floor of the passenger compartment. It gives the Audi e-tron quattro concept a balanced axle load distribution and a low center of gravity. The battery’s capacity of 95 kWh enables a range of more than 500 kilometers. The Combined Charging System (CCS) enables charging with DC or AC electrical current. A full charge with DC electrical current at a charging column with an output of 150 kW takes just around 50 minutes. As an alternative, the study is equipped with Audi Wireless Charging technology for contactless induction charging. The charging process is very convenient. The Audi e-tron quattro concept uses a system for piloted parking that guides it to the proper position at the charging plate. In addition, a large solar roof provides electricity for the drive system battery on sunny days.
The chassis also expresses the high-tech character of the concept study. The adaptive air suspension sport, which features controlled damping, lowers the body at higher speeds to reduce drag. The dynamic-all-wheel steering combines a dynamic steering system on the front axle with a steering system for the rear wheels. Depending on speed and the driving situation, they steer either opposite or in the same direction as the front wheels. The Audi e-tron quattro concept thus reacts even more spontaneously and stably, and is also very manoeuvrable at low speeds.
The Audi e-tron quattro concept is 4.88 meters long, 1.93 meters wide and just 1.54 meters high. Its coupe-like silhouette with the extremely flat greenhouse that tapers strongly toward the rear lends it a very dynamic appearance. The car’s drag coefficient measures just 0.25 – a new best for the SUV segment, where figures are usually considerably over 0.30.
If you notice from the picture above, the exterior mirrors has been replaced with cameras which contributes towards the excellent aerodynamics and also a foretaste of the future of driving.
All the main lighting functions at the front of the car use Matrix laser technology. The bottom section houses a new, distinctive lighting signature comprising five lighting elements. Each of these combines an LED luminary with an extremely flat OLED element (organic light-emitting diode).
The rear lights also comprise 2 sections. Each of the top zones features 9 red OLED units for the tail light function, with 3 more below.
The package of the Audi e tron quattro concept enables a spacious, comfortable interior for 4 persons and 615- liters of luggage. The interior has a light and open feel to it and displays in the interior use OLED technology. The extremely thin films can be cut to any desired shape.
The new Audi virtual cockpit curved OLED is a further development of the Audi virtual cockpit that debuted in production vehicles in 2014. To the left and right below the fully-digital instrument cluster are 2 touch displays with black glass and a subtle aluminum frame. The driver controls the lights and the systems for piloted driving with the left display. The large display on the right is for media and navigation management. The steering wheel serves as an alternate control level. Its spokes are equipped with contoured touch surfaces.
Below the selector lever on the center tunnel console are two more OLED displays for the drive system status, climate control and freely programmable information functions. The curved displays in the front section of the doors serve as digital exterior mirrors.
The two rear passengers sit on comfortable individual seats. They can use the OLED displays on the center console to configure the climate control and infotainment for their area or to exchange data with the driver. An LTE module connects the Audi e-tron quattro concept with the Internet. The connectivity features in the study are cutting edge.
The concept study is equipped with all the technologies that Audi has developed for piloted driving: radar sensors, a video camera, ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner. The data these supply come together in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) in the luggage compartment. It computes a complete model of the car’s surroundings in real time and makes this information available to all assistance systems and the systems for piloted driving. These technologies are also nearly ready for use in production vehicles.