Audi has revealed the production version of its e-tron electric SUV will be powered by a two-motor powertrain, 95kwh lithium-ion battery and be capable of 150kWh DC fast-charging, the latter claimed as a world-first and more rapid than the Teslasupercharger network.
Releasing more technical details ahead of its launch in August, the e-tron was shown to the press at a Siemens heavy-duty electrical engineering test centre in Berlin, where the e-tron was subjected to a symbolic 500kV test to ‘spark’ the car into life.
The exact output of each e-tron motor, however, remains a closely-guarded secret, but is expected to be around a maximum of 160bhp with overboost – equivalent to around 120kW — to give a total peak output of around 315hp or 240kW.
That also suggests the e-tron will be badged ‘55’ under Audi’s new badge/naming system, specifically introduced to put combustion-engined, hybrid and BEVs on an even-footing in the model hierarchy.
“We have decided to keep the e-tron name and use it like quattro,” a source told our sister publication, Autocar UK, “The first of our sporty models was simply named the Audi Quattro. Our first all-electric car will simply be badged Audi e-tron.”
Although powerful, the production e-tron’s output is less than the 489hp quoted for the two concepts shown so far, because the concepts featured a three-motor powertrain with a single front motor and twin rear motors. However, the choice of a twin-motor layout at launch paves the way for Audi to introduce a performance e-tron powered by three motors a couple of years post-launch.
Details of the e-tron’s production lithium-ion battery pack have also been revealed for the first time.
Mounted in the floor, between the front and rear axles, to keep the CofG as low as possible and maximise crash protection, it will use pouch-type cells, packaged into 36 shoe-box sized models. Each module contains 12 pouches, supplied either by LG Chem or Samsung, and each rated at 60Ah – higher than those used by both Nissan and Tesla. The bulk of the modules are in a flat main casing, but some are housed in a supplementary ‘saddle’ casing above the main battery and under the rear seat.
The battery is no lightweight, contributing at least 700kg to the e-tron’s kerb weight. A key part of the battery is a water-based ‘lattice’ cooling system, bonded to the underside of the modules to maximise heat transfer and shedding heat through a conventional, front-mounted radiator. A second heat-pump system with a plate heat exchanger — effectively an air con system — can boost cooling or heating to keep the battery at its optimum operating range of 25-35 deg c in extreme climates.
Charging at home or mainstream-roadside will be AC and rated at 11kW, although an optional 22kW charger will be on the price list.
The 150kW DC fast-charger – said to be capable of filling the battery to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes – will be standard and take advantage of the IONITY rapid-charge network being set up by a consortium of Europe’s car-makers.