We have finally driven Audi’s first electric car, the2020 Audi E-Tron. And the first touchdown was centered off the asphalt: traction, suspensions, brakes … That’s the way it is and that’s the way it goes.
A few weeks ago we met, in exclusive, some of its details, in a contact to “stopped car” made by our colleague Lorenzo Alcocer ( here you have the link with that article ) while, almost simultaneously, Alicia Fernandez came to put it long official in San Francisco , where Audi took the opportunity to draw his electric future ( here you can see what they told him and here the full video of the presentation ). But, previously, we had already known a lot about him. We met him at the last Geneva Motor Show and, since then, we have known about his aerodynamics, ability to recover energy from its engines when it is not accelerating, its batteries and the creation of a recharging network … in short, a multitude of details.
We speak, of course, of the 2020 Audi E-Tron, the first car moved exclusively by electricity produced by the Ingolstadt brand. Yes, before I had a good number of hybrids – the latter, the [Audi A3 Sportback e-tron] (Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron) and the Audi Q7 3.0 TDI e-Tron -, which combined the strength of an electric motor with a combustion engine, but never one of its models had moved only with the energy stored in its batteries.
The Audi e-Tron is a large SUV, with a size that places it between Q5 and Q7 at the time of its 4.94 m long, and it is also a heavy model with its 2,490 kilos, of which 700 correspond to the batteries, but when you are driving, neither seems the one nor the other. It helps, and a lot, an address with electromechanical assistance. In maneuvers or with a small turn of the steering wheel -from stop to stop, 2 turns- it feels very assisted without losing precision, which changes as it takes more angle. Even though we have not been able to verify it, also according to the speed.
If you wish briefly, we had the opportunity to get on your controls for the first time and drive it exclusively off the tarmac. In a circuit traced on a large surface composed of earth, salt, and dust, a salt and sand roads we have seen first-hand the effectiveness of this electric SUV that, we presume, will live in the hands of their buyers rather far from these environments.
2020 Audi E-Tron All Wheel Drive – Electric!
However, its utility lies in the ability to put the limit, for example, the electric all-wheel drive of the Audi e-Tron, based on its two electric motors, one per axle. They are induction or asynchronous, instead of the usual synchronous, say the engineers of the brand because this solution is more efficient, lighter and with fewer losses.
The effect of the Quattro electric traction – the last evolution of that total traction that was born in 1976 for the Audi Quattro, but that will not have continuity in the future hybrids, which will continue to have mechanical traction – is more effective than any mechanical system. its speed of reaction, since in thousandths of a second you can control the torque of each of the motors and, in this way, achieve the desired result. Thus, in most situations the Audi e-Tron is moved, above all, by the electric motor of its rear axle that, depending on whether you are working in normal mode or Boost mode – for this it is necessary that the selector of the change goes from D to S and we are accelerating to the maximum – it offers 140 or 165 kW. But, if the driver requests more power, the risk of oversteer in the curve or the adherence of the road is felt, it is necessary to participate more of the electric motor of the front axle, its action is immediate. This is able, like the rear, to modify punctually, for about 8 seconds, the force that develops and go from 125 to 135 kW.
2020 Audi E-Tron Engine Specs & Performance
We have been able to verify both circumstances, both the evident perception of the increase in power – under normal conditions, the total available power is 265 kW (360 hp) and the torque of 561 Nm, temporarily, due to the overdraft of the engines, can be reached at 300 kW (408 hp ) and 664 Nm- in the form of a faster response to the accelerator, even; as the effect of the modification of the traction in the stabilization of the car when driving on a circuit of little adherence. In this, we have seen the ease of driving the Audi e-Tron, even without the support of stability control (ESC), on the other hand, when activated works so subtly as effective.
The ESC, integrated into the new integrated electrohydraulic brake control system, works in conjunction with the electronic chassis platform (EPC) of the Audi e-Tron. Premiered in the Audi Q7, has been used in all Audi models with longitudinal engines, but it is in the Audi e-Tron where you get the most out of using a single control unit to collect data on speed, angle of rotation, pitch, roll, etc. and, with this data of the movement of the car, control the pneumatic suspension, the piloted damping, the total traction or the selective control of torque. This, like a scoop, is not integrated into the stability control. His job is to intervene with specific and independent brakings on each wheel to achieve stabilization in a curve or to increase traction off the asphalt, for example.
The advantages of the EPC having all these data and being able to intervene on all these systems are evident: the speed of action and the precision of the same in the adjustment of, for example, how they have to work together at a given time. total traction and that selective torque control. In the Audi e-Tron also takes place the premiere of a brake circuit in which the braking power is not directly linked to the pressure of the driver on the pedal, but that effect as well as the choice of who intervenes for the arrest – the electric motors are those that act in a first phase, which allows recovering much energy, and only if it is necessary more than 0.3 g will the circuit hydraulic- is protected by a switchboard and small electric motors. The benefit of this system is that it also has the right pressure to a situation of maximum demand and with maximum speed, which translates into fewer meters for the final stop.
The ABS, whose management is included in the management module, when it acts does not cause pulsations. What if fading occurs? How does the driver feel when the pedal of the main hydraulic circuit is isolated and which gets the feel of a shorter one with a rubber element resistant to pressure? “You will receive a warning through instrumentation, ” says Tobias Greiner, the Audi engineer who specializes in this braking system.
2020 Audi E-Tron Driving Test
Another characteristic of the Audi e-Tron is in its specific Audi Drive Select. As in other models of the brand, it allows to automatically and jointly adjust the operation of engines, traction, and suspension, although there is an Individual mode in which the definition of its adjustment can be defined by the driver. In addition to the usual Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Efficiency modes, two significant ones appear in the Audi e-Tron while highlighting the intention of making this electric car a real car to get beyond the asphalt: they are the Allroad modes and Offroad. With its selection the air suspension is prepared to circulate by field, positioning it, but in the highest position – in the Lift mode, which can be forced with the same selection keys, it would still go up 1.5 mm-, yes up to 3, 5 mm above the base position: in total, they are 20.7 cm of free height to the ground .
They also select whether or not stability control will act, respectively; in the same way that if you have the normal power or boost mode, the ABS is adjusted for low adhesion road surfaces or, even in the Offroad mode, there is a greater differential blocking effect through the braking of the wheels. In this sense, we were able to experience not only the good work of the suspensions when driving off the asphalt, with an excellent level of patching working in Offroad mode ; we also check the effectiveness of the selective braking of each wheel when facing a sharp crossing of axes and to be able to continue progressing without major difficulty. The unit tested had Goodyear Eagle Sport all-season tires in dimensions 255/50 R20. Bridgestone and Continental also have approved wheels for the Audi e-Tron: the standard is 255/55 R19 and, as a second option, in addition to those mounted on 20 “wheels, there are about 265/45 R21.
This situation of crossing axles, also allowed us to appreciate the structural rigidity of the Audi e-Tron, a car with a platform -MLB Evo – in which the steel only assumes 17 percent of the frame, but 45 percent more rigid than a conventional SUV.
An important role in this rigidity is played by the structure that contains the batteries, located between both axes and occupying a good part of the width of the platform. They are lithium-ion batteries with a total voltage of 395 volts and a capacity of 95 kWh. They are distributed in 36 aluminum modules, each with twelve cells of the flexible outer layer of aluminum-coated polymer – the construction is Pouch type, with alternating sheets of an anode, separator, and cathode, although Audi already states that they will be prismatic which uses in the futures.
Out of the total of 95 kWh, only 80 percent of the capacity for the movement of the Audi e-Tron is used, which achieves a range of more than 400 km: to date, Audi has not provided this exact data, as well nor the WLTP consumption. The batteries are cooled, such as motors and power electronics, by a hydraulic circuit. It uses 22 liters of glycol-based refrigerant that circulate through 40 meters of ducts with the purpose, among others, that the temperature of the batteries does not differ much from 35 ºC or in the axes of transmission does not exceed 180.
2020 Audi E-Tron Interior & Capacity
Of doors in the Audi e-tron offers what is expected in a model brand art, both in terms of equipment like appearance or quality . It is very spacious , with magnificent rear seats and comfortable access. Even for the little irrelevance of the central tunnel, since the total electric traction makes that element unnecessary. However, it does happen that the flight of the central console and where the controls are located for the regulation of the air conditioning in the rear seats, can be too close to the sidewalk: there is barely 15 cm between them.
Neither the bench has longitudinal adjustment nor the backrest in inclination in different degrees, although the latter can comfortably fold from the controls that are on the sides of the trunk – also, of course, from the backrest itself. When falling they are slightly inclined with respect to the plane of the trunk, although they yield a few centimeters -the ones that the fluffy one allows- when placing weight on their back.
Audi announces 600 liters of capacity trunk, trunk , although in our first measurements we have found some less: 400. We will see if the difference decreases when we have access to a unit and with our standardized measurement means. In any case, under the floor there is an additional gap of about 25 liters and, when opening the hood, we find a plastic drawer with about 50 more, very suitable for placing the load cables there. Because, for the moment, of loading by induction, there is no trace.