Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spark Something Special

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Spark Something Special

Article excerpt

Byline: STEVE HUGHES

AUDI has opened the order book for its first fully-electric vehicle, which is the e-tron costing up to more than PS80,000.

It is a five-seat SUV, with a single battery system that the company claims has a driving range of up to 240 miles on a full charge.

The vehicle can accelerate to 60mph in five and a half seconds and boasts a 125mph top speed.

There is a 95kWh battery mounted beneath the passenger compartment that feeds an electric motor for each axle, which jointly generate an output of up to 300kW.

Initially there is a choice of just two models, the standard e-tron and launch edition priced at PS71,490 and PS82,240.

Audi says that the newcomer will be followed by at least 11 more fully electric models between now and 2025.

There is adaptive air suspension on both versions of the car, while the drive system to both axles takes the quattro all-wheel-drive principle into the electric age.

Charging the e-tron is via ports on each of its front wings that are propelled downwards via a button within the vehicle.

This reveals sockets that can connect to a home electricity supply via conventional means or using a home wall box.

Alternatively, the vehicle can use the very limited number of fast charging stations at up to 150kW, enabling recharging to 80% of capacity in about half an hour.

Technology takes centre stage throughout the e-tron, with the MMI touch response concept that first introduced intuitive touch-screen functionality into the latest A8 operating system being at the heart of the car. Haptic feedback and voice control enhance its functionality to complement the digital instruments in the binnacle that form part of the Audi virtual cockpit.

In the launch edition this incorporates two supplementary e-tron and Sport layouts offering additional functionality. …

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