In­to the fu­tu­re with AUDI

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Voorblad -

The ful­ly e­lec­tric Audi e-tron pro­toty­pe was sho­wn in Ge­ne­va e­ar­lier this y­e­ar and pro­ducti­on has star­ted for the car to go on sa­le next y­e­ar. Volks­wa­gen has in­di­ca­ted a ra­di­cal chan­ge of di­recti­on to e­lec­tric cars for the fu­tu­re.

Audi re­vea­led its new and com­ple­te­ly e­lec­tric SUV, the e-tron, at the Ge­ne­va Mo­tor S­how in March af­ter first in­tro­du­cing the con­cept in 2016. The com­pa­ny has now an­noun­ced the e-tron will be a­vai­la­ble in Eu­ro­pe from next y­e­ar.

This luxu­ri­ous e­lec­tric vehi­cle (EV) mo­del will al­so e­ven­tu­al­ly com­pe­te with the Te­sla Mo­del X in the US and is the first au­to­mo­bi­le re­vea­led af­ter Volks­wa­gen's pro­mi­se ma­de e­ar­lier this y­e­ar to mass pro­du­ce e­lec­tric cars. The cam­paign was gi­ven the of­fi­ci­al na­me "E­lec­tric for all".

It is said the group plans ma­king all their vehi­cles e­lec­tric by 2030 to coun­ter the VW e­mis­si­ons scan­dal of 2015. This was w­hen the US En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tecti­on A­gen­cy (EPA) found soft­wa­re in VW die­sel en­gi­nes that could de­tect w­hen the e­mis­si­ons le­vels we­re being tes­ted and s­how a much lo­wer le­vel.

Volks­wa­gen al­so an­noun­ced re­cent­ly that the group in­tends to ma­ke 10 mil­li­on e­lec­tric vehi­cles by in­ves­ting R100-bil­li­on in EV pro­ducti­on - and the Audi e-tron is just the first of the wa­ve.

The com­pa­ny's plant in Brus­sels, Bel­gi­um, is al­re­a­dy pro­du­cing 200 of the­se cars a day and is a car­bon-neu­tral fac­to­ry.

This me­ans Audi has of­fi­ci­al­ly be­co­me part of the luxu­ry e­lec­tric vehi­cle ra­ce al­ongs­i­de Porsche, Ja­guar, Mer­ce­des and Elon Musk's Te­sla cars.

The e-tron se­ats fi­ve pe­op­le with e­a­se and has a lot of lug­ga­ge spa­ce, with all the com­fort of the luxu­ry Audi brand. The pre­mi­um SUV is des­cri­bed as 100% e­lec­tric and it can be char­ged at ho­me or at pu­blic char­ging sta­ti­ons.

The pro­ducti­on ver­si­on of the Audi e-tron pro­toty­pe can top up its char­ge at fast-char­ging sta­ti­ons with up to 150kW of char­ging ca­pa­ci­ty in just un­der 30 mi­nu­tes.

Two mo­dels of the Audi e-tron will be a­vai­la­ble for sa­le from next y­e­ar: The Pre­mi­um Plus, star­ting at a­bout R107 462, and the P­res­ti­ge, star­ting at R117 511. The­se would be the ap­prox­i­ma­te in­ter­na­ti­o­nal pri­ces cal­cu­la­ted at the cur­rent ex­chan­ge ra­te. If the e-tron is ma­de a­vai­la­ble he­re, the hypot­he­ti­cal South A­fri­can p­ri­ce would be ba­sed on fu­tu­re ex­chan­ge ra­te va­ri­a­ti­ons as well as im­port du­ty. Alt­hough South A­fri­ca is lag­ging in terms of in­fra­struc­tu­re for char­ging, se­ver­al ma­nu­fac­tu­rers are wor­king to­get­her to ma­ke this techno­lo­gy mo­re acces­si­ble in fu­tu­re.

Both e-tron mo­dels will be e­quip­ped with du­al a-sy­n­chro­nous e­lec­tric mo­tors, LED he­ad­lig­hts, a Bang & Oluf­sen sound sy­stem and he­a­ted and ven­ti­la­ted front se­ats, as well as nu­me­rous ot­her fe­a­tu­res.

So­me of the mo­re luxu­ri­ous fe­a­tu­res on the P­res­ti­ge mo­del in­clu­de front se­ats in Val­co­na le­at­her with a mas­sa­ge functi­on, an air qua­li­ty packa­ge that i­o­ni­ses and fra­gran­ces the air and a com­ple­te d­ri­ver as­sis­tan­ce packa­ge.

The 95kWh bat­te­ry can be ful­ly char­ged in ni­ne hours, to 80% in 30 mi­nu­tes and can ex­ceed 400km on a sin­gle char­ge. This ma­kes it the se­cond hig­hest-ca­pa­ci­ty bat­te­ry on the EV mar­ket.

The Audi e-tron pro­toty­pe as sho­wn in Ge­ne­va.

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