The Audi e-tron is a series of electric and hybrid concept cars shown by Audi from 2009 onwards. In 2012 Audi unveiled a plug-in hybrid version, the A3 Sportback e-tron, released to retail customers in Europe in August 2014, and slated for the U.S. in 2015. A decade after the unveiling of the first e-tron concept at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany, Audi’s first fully electric e-tron SUV went into production in 2019.
e-tron Frankfurt (2009)
The first e-tron concept car was shown at the 2009 International Motor Show Germany. A two-seater, similar in appearance to the Audi R8 but slightly smaller, is powered by four UQM Technologies motors, providing four-wheel drive. Together, these produce 313 PS (230 kW; 309 hp) and 4,500 N⋅m (3,319.03 lb⋅ft) of torque, allowing the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.8 seconds.
A 470 kg (1,036 lb) 42.4 kWh lithium-ion battery is located in front of the rear axle and provides a range of approximately 248 km (154 mi) with a full charge taking 6–8 hours from a normal household socket. It has ceramic disc brakes as well as regenerative braking. In 2010 Audi began a development program with the objective to manufacture a limited production R8 e-tron. The R8 e-tron made a brief appearance in the 2013 Marvel Studios release of Iron Man 3.
After developing 10 prototypes for research and development purposes, in May 2013 Audi decided to cancel production of the electric car due to its limited all-electric range as battery technology had not advanced as quickly as Audi had expected, making the R8 e-tron unviable for series production. In March 2014 Audi revised its decision and announced it will build the R8 e-tron upon request. The carmaker explained that their latest development work resulted in an increased range from 215 km (134 mi) to approximately 450 km (280 mi).
e-tron Detroit showcar (2010)
The Audi e-tron Detroit showcar (confusingly, also named “e-tron”) includes 2 electric motors driving the rear wheels with a combined output of 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) and 2,650 N⋅m (1,954.54 lb⋅ft) of torque, with lithium-ion batteries behind passenger compartment and ahead of the rear axle, adaptive matrix beam LED headlight modules with clear glass covers, fully automatic light assistance system, Audi Space Frame with doors, lids, sidewalls and roof made of a fiber-reinforced plastic; built-in central display with integrated MMI functions, front axle hydraulic fixed-caliper brake, electrically actuated floating-caliper brakes mounted on the rear axle, heat pump, triangular double wishbones made of forged aluminum components at the front and rear axles, direct rack-and-pinion steering, 19-inch wheels of 35-spoke design, 235/35 front and 255/35 rear tires. The concept car can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 5.9 seconds.
The vehicle was unveiled in the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
A similar production model, based on a future mid-engined automotive platform codenamed 9X1, shared with Porsche and Volkswagen, is reportedly under development.
e-tron Spyder (2010)
Shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, this roadster is a plug-in hybrid powered by a 221 kW (296 bhp) twin-turbo TDI 3.0 L V6 diesel engine driving the rear wheels, plus two electric motors together producing 64 kW (86 bhp) powering the front wheels. Acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) is achieved in 4.4 seconds.
Audi presented the e-tron Spyder in January 2011 at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, near identical to the Paris show car, but this time painted bright red. The car was advertised with the same performance specifications, including an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h).
Q2L e-tron (2019)
The Q2L e-tron is an all-electric version of the long-wheelbase variant of the compact SUV Audi Q2, which went into production at the Foshan plant in November 2019 and is sold exclusively in China. Powered by a 38 kWh lithium-ion battery of Chinese supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology, the Q2L e-tron has a range of 265 kilometers (165 miles) on one charge and a top speed of 150 km/h. Its electric motor delivers the maximum power of 100 kW and maximum torque of 290 Nm.
e-tron Sportback (2020)
The e-tron Sportback is an all-electric coupé SUV shown first as a concept at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. It has the same powertrain/battery as the e-tron SUV. Both cars are produced in Brussels, Belgium. As in the e-tron SUV, the battery of the vehicle is liquid-cooled.
The production version was revealed at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. European and American deliveries started in 2020.
The 2020 e-tron Sportback has an EPA range of 218 miles (351 km). It is better than in the 2019 e-tron SUV, partially because a larger percentage of the battery capacity is usable. The e-tron’s battery management system keeps part of the battery capacity as a buffer, which is not part of the usable capacity; now the size of that buffer was decreased to unlock more usable capacity. This change was introduced in the e-tron SUV during the production run, while in the e-tron Sportback, which entered production later, it was available from the beginning.
e-tron GT (2020)
The e-tron GT is a four-door all-electric grand tourer unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. It will be built on the same platform as the Porsche Taycan. It is fitted with an 800-volt system, which substantially reduces charging times. The vehicle is driven by two permanently excited synchronous electric motors with a combined power output of 434 kW (582 hp). A 90-kWh lithium-ion battery powers the e-tron GT’s electric engines and enables it to travel up to 248.5 miles (400 km) according to the new WLTP standard.
In December, Audi confirmed that the e-tron GT will make an appearance in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame. Tony Stark drives the e-tron GT in a scene in Endgame.
Q4 e-tron (2020/2021)
The Q4 e-tron is a four-door all-electric crossover SUV unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. According to the Audi, the use of VW’s MEB platform should improve its affordability. The vehicle is planned for 2021.
Q4 Sportback e-tron (2020/2021)
The Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron is a four-door all-electric coupe crossover unveiled online on 7 July 2020. It will be coming for sale in 2021 along with the Q4 e-tron. Both of these cars will be based on the Volkswagen’s MEB platform. The Q4 Sportback e-tron has a drag coefficient of 0.26.
Estimated specs for the Q4 e-tron and the Q4 Sportback e-tron:
- 82 kWh battery pack capacity
- 280 miles (450 km) WLTP range
- AWD dual motor system with 225 kW combined power output
- 0–100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.3 s
- Top speed 180 km/h
- DC fast charging up to 125 kW