Audi’s upcoming E-tron electric SUV will use the world’s first virtual external mirrors, as confirmed by the company. This setup will help reduce the car’s aerodynamic drag coefficient to just 0.28.
The ‘virtual’ mirror setup uses cameras to replace conventional door mirrors and project digital images onto screens located inside the car, where the front doors meet the dashboard.
These more compact exterior cameras combine with active aerodynamics and air suspension that can lower the car into its most aerodynamic position when cruising, giving the car a claimed drag coefficient figure that makes it 0.04 slipperier than the smaller Q2 SUV.
Audi says that without the E-tron's selection of drag-reducing features, the large electric SUV would be 34-km shorter on range per charge. With them, the car is good for a 399-km range, according to WLTP (which is a tougher test than the outgoing NEDC test).
The car, which is due to be fully revealed in August, will be powered by a dual-motor powertrain using a 95kWh lithium ion battery and capable of 150kW DC fast charging. The latter is claimed as a world first and is 30kW more rapid than Tesla's Supercharger network.
Also confirmed is the use of alternating current AC chargers that can top up the battery by recovering energy on the move. As standard, the car will feature 11kW chargers for this, although 22kW chargers will be available as an option to enhance the recovery rate.
Home charging details have also been disclosed; Audi says that the E-tron can charge fully in 8.5 hours when connected to a 400V three-phase outlet. It's yet to reveal times for when the car is attached to a regular 230V household plug. Further technical details regarding the E-tron’s battery pack can be found here.
The production E-tron will be revealed in August as the first of three battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that Audi will launch by 2021. By 2025, the company promises to have 20 electrified models on sale, with half of those being BEVs.
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