Audi unveiled its hotly-anticipated E-Tron SUV on Monday night, and it looks surprisingly conventional given its role as the company's vanguard into the high-end electric vehicle arena, where it will do battle with the head-turning Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace.
From navigation with the e-tron route planner, which displays the appropriate route with the required charging points, automated billing at the charging station and all the way to remote control via smartphone - the Audi e-tron is extremely well connected.
"I want Audi to be the number-one electric vehicle seller in America over the long term", Audi of America President Scott Keogh told Reuters in an interview on Monday.
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The German company's mid-sized SUV was revealed in Richmond, California, only about 40 miles from Tesla headquarters in Fremont, where the electric Model X SUV is made. Power in the Audi E-Tron SUV is derived from two asynchronous motors with the help of generous 95 kWh battery pack. That would equate to more than 248 miles of range on a full charge, based on European testing, Audi said. Amazon will deliver the hardware and hire electricians to install them through its Amazon Home Services operation.
On price, it's tough to ignore that Audi customers can expect to spend less than $90,000 for a top-of-the-line e-tron, according to Audi, compared to a top-range Model X. It's not immediately known how much you'll shell out when available options are added. The e-tron will be available in 2019.
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The electric SUV is powered by two powerful electric motors that are locally CO2-neutral and virtually silent. A HoloLens exhibit let you "see" the vehicle charging and regenerating energy from braking, and a sample fast charging station from Electrify America glowed green. Called "Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home Services", e-tron owners will be able to order the charging system through Amazon and have it setup by Amazon Home Service.
The e-tron will feature a high-tech interior and, in Europe, will replace conventional sideview mirrors with cameras, the images displayed on 5-inch monitors mounted at each side of the windshield.
The e-tron is the latest in a string of dedicated EVs from European automakers that are taking aim at Tesla and other startups with Tesla-like ambitions. Additionally, 999 units of a First Edition model will be available to USA customers. The purchase of an e-tron will include 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership. The technology in this automobile was developed in collaboration with Porsche; the design and character of the e-tron GT concept are packed full of unmistakable Audi DNA.
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