Audi have announced the launch of a second version and ‘entry level’ e-tron, which will be available in the UK early next year. This version of the car will have two electric motors (front and rear) giving it 230 kW of power and a formidable 540 Nm of torque coupled with a respectable range of 186 miles and ability to fast charge to around 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes.
The Audi e-tron 50 quattro. Which will be built at the carbon-neutral Audi Brussels plant, will complement the existing first-generation e-tron 55 quattro model, making a fully electric Audi available to a much wider customer base.
The e-tron 50 quattro will deliver a high level of efficiency with powerful and instantly accessible performance. This entry-level model features ‘e-quattro’ all-wheel-drive delivered by an electric motor mounted on each axle which generates a combined total of 230 kW and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque. This will give the SUV and very respectable sprint to 62mph in just 7.0 seconds and take it up to a top speed of 118mph which is electronically governed, meaning it can go faster.
For maximum efficiency the e-tron 50 will only utilise the rear electric motor in day-to-day driving conditions with the front electric motor only kicking in when needed, but it kicks in extremely quickly.
The car is equipped with modern air suspension and coupled with the e-tron’s low centre of gravity, it is an extremely stable SUV, giving superb driving characteristics.
On the technical side, the battery unit is made up of 324 prismatic cells combined in 27 modules. These units store up to 71 kWh of energy, which is delivered via a newly calibrated drivetrain and a high voltage system featuring additional optimisations for this application and gives the e-tron a range of up to 186 miles.
Being lighter than a conventional SUV, the e-tron 50 has less running resistance which contributes to its overall efficiency. The advanced thermal management system is able to regulate the interior as well as the battery, cooling the electric motors, the power electronics and the charger. This should ensure that the high-voltage components have a long service life.
As well as being able to charge the Audi e-tron 50 quattro at fast-charge stations, the battery can be supplied with alternating current (AC) via a home wallbox. For charging at home, the e-tron 50 is equipped with the compact charging system as standard. It supports a charging capacity of up to 2.3 kW with a 230 volt domestic outlet and up to 11 kW when connected to a 400 volt industrial charge point.
This optional connect charging system adds smart charging functions such as off-peak charging, enabling owners to benefit from variable electricity rates by charging their Audi e-tron at less expensive times of the day, such as overnight. Another nifty feature is the option to charge the car with self-generated solar power if a home photovoltaic system is installed. Using the myAudi app, customers can control all charging processes and timers as well as pre-entry climate control via their smartphone.
The nifty technology does not end here though, as those clever people at Audi have designed the e-tron 50 to recuperate energy via its two electric motors, with priority given to the rear motor, during more than 90 percent of all deceleration actions. This means that the energy from practically all normal braking manoeuvres is recovered and fed back into the battery. Remember KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) in Formula One a few years ago?
For more information on the Audi e-tron 50 Quattro please visit: www.audi.co.uk
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs and images courtesy of Audi UK