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The Shanghai motor show this year played host some tech superstars and you can easily slot the Audi e-tron concept as one of them. The e-tron’s repertoire includes advanced interactive tech, sleek design and nearly 500 horsepower. This model, however, is due to hit production only by 2019.
The e-tron is a direct competitor to Jaguar's forthcoming electric SUV, the I-Pace. The Audi has a long wheelbase, a swooping roofline and a noticeably big rear. This car is aimed at people who are contemplating buying the A7 but need a more commanding view of the road. The E-tron Sportback is described by exterior designer Domen Rucigaj as ‘an interpretation of the A7, but with SUV DNA.' The car will run on 23-inch alloy wheels and the interiors feature all kinds of advanced tech to provide a wholesome driving experience. Audi has always been big on lighting and has used this very evidently in the design structure, from the use of matrix LED full-beam headlights to a glowing Audi symbol that changes colour.
Though a front grille isn't exactly needed thanks to the car’s electric drivetrain, Audi has engineered the front to evoke a sense of familiarity with the addition of a ‘bridge’ through which air can be channelled. The car will be powered by two motors, with the two rear units adding torque in high-load or low-grip conditions. The front motor will be used on most occasions, with the two-rear units handling torque in high-load or low-grip conditions. Audi's electrified quattro four-wheel drive system with torque vectoring is what is responsible for it impressive 0-100kph speed of 4.5 seconds. "The car and acceleration will follow exactly what you do with your foot, so there’s no downshifting. You step on the accelerator and the car will just go in that instant, so it’s very quick and responsive even on tight curvy roads," said project leader for the e-tron drivetrain, Jan Wischerath. Several variants will be produced with differing power outputs from the motors.
The car makes use of carbon fibre and aluminium in its structure to reduce weight, which stands at just over 2,000kg. The battery pack is located low in the car’s structure and stands 1.53m tall - which is 110mm taller than the A7. The interior of the car takes every single aspect of driving under careful consideration.
Light is an essential element used here for – like the electroluminescent paint used on the seats and select door panels. These surfaces glow subtly, providing light as well as working to highlight important areas. You need a slight charge for these to work but since the power required is very low, they run constantly. Another excellent example of the use of effective lighting are the glowing logos. The Audi rings - both front and back - are LED-equipped. The front one glows steady while the rear is white when the car is idle, red when driving, even brighter white while in reverse and red when you brake.
The drive selector is placed exactly where one may rest their hand, also giving the driver easy access to the air-conditioning controls. The dashboard is all about touch-sensitive surfaces, while other features include a digital instrument cluster, two touchscreens with haptic feedback in the centre console, and a slim digital display in front of the passenger. Expect rear-view cameras fitted into the surface of the front door. The driving programmes include systems such as piloted drive and piloted park.