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E-tronathon: Audi’s Future EVs Are Poised to Blow Minds


Things are about to get very, very interesting in the electric-vehicle space. The choices are multiplying rapidly. The competition will be fierce. And the future is far from assured. Audi, for one, has made it quite clear that, come what may, it’s charging ahead (pun intended) into the electrified fray. When your longtime mantra roughly translates to “being ahead through technology” (“Vorsprung durch Technik“), it’s probably a good idea to at least be in the thick of the electric revolution.

It’s also not a bad thing to make your first true production EV a crossover given where the market is today, as Audi has done with its 2019 e-tron that’s been rolling into U.S. dealerships at slightly less than $75,000 to start. In fact, you’re really going to need to know your Audis in order to discern whether the e-tron isn’t just another fancy Q-badged model from the outside. Get behind the wheel, though, and you’ll know it from the second you hit the go pedal and 414 lb-ft of torque greets you from 0 rpm, thanks to a 95-kW-hr battery pack feeding 125-kW front and 140-kW rear motors. With 355 peak horsepower on tap, Audi says the e-tron can motor to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. We hear a performance version of the e-tron is on the way soon, which will no doubt be even faster and more agile.

Range for the midsize crossover checks in at an EPA-estimated 204 miles to a charge, which isn’t class leading, but Audi claims the e-tron can gain as much as 54 miles of range in 10 minutes when connected to a 150-kW DC charging port—when you can find one, that is. The good news is that when you do, Audi offers 1,000 kWh of free charging for owners via the Electrify America network.

The e-tron is serving as the vanguard of multiple e-tron-badged models to come from Audi, including what are expected to be production versions of the e-tron GT sedan and Q4 e-tron crossover concepts the automaker recently rolled out onto auto show stages. We’re particularly smitten with the 2021 e-tron GT, and it’s easy to understand why given that it will be tuned by Audi Sport, is expected to push as much as 590 horsepower, and should be able to touch 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds.


















































Then there’s the supercar, the King Kong of the e-tron clan previewed in the form of the PB18 e-tron concept Audi unveiled at last year’s Monterey Car Week. The PB18 was meant as an homage to Audi’s innovative R18 e-tron hybrid race cars, only with a fully electrified powertrain. The four-ring crew was throwing around zero-to-60 times of less than 2.0 seconds, 612 lb-ft of total system torque, and more than 300 miles of range. It remains to be seen whether Audi will actually produce something like it, but we wouldn’t be shocked (yes, we went there again) if it did.

The sure bet, though, is that Audi will follow through on its pledge to electrify 25 percent of its lineup by 2025 through its e-trons; plug-in hybrid versions (to be badged TFSI e) of several of its mainstream models that should supply 20 to 30 miles of pure electric range when fully charged; and cars equipped with supplemental 48-volt systems designed to reduce the load on traditional powertrains. On the cabin tech side, Audi continues with its Virtual Cockpit, in addition to a new generation of its MMI infotainment system, which is highlighted by a haptic touchscreen setup.

In case you were wondering, Audi still makes cars that burn fossil fuels only, and it’s in the process of launching the updated version of its Q3 compact crossover for the U.S. market, with a more powerful 228-horse 2.0-liter turbo-four paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. On its heels will be a face-lifted Q7 full-size crossover that’s expected to crib elements of the Q8’s exterior design as the primary update.

Read More
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The Audi PB18 EV Supercar Blows Our Mind
Pininfarina’s Battista Is a 1,900-HP EV Hypercar

Audi Sport is also pushing ahead with its plan to bring more hyped-up RS cars here to America, and new versions of the RS6 and RS7 will be here sometime in 2020. The RS7 will still come with Audi’s wicked 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 under the hood pushing 600-plus horses, with a hybridized version potentially in the mix later in its life cycle. And in a twist, the RS6 is actually going to arrive in America in Avant station-wagon form, which is good news for enthusiasts pining away for more longroofs. On the crossover side, the Q3 and Q8 will get RS-tuned versions as well, which would bookend Audi’s U.S. crossover lineup with a couple of super models.

On Sale: e-tron: Now; e-tron GT: Late 2020 (est); Q3: Now
Base Price: e-tron: $74,800; e-tron GT: $70,000 (est); Q3: $35,695

The post E-tronathon: Audi’s Future EVs Are Poised to Blow Minds appeared first on Automobile Magazine.



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