Audi’s E-Tron moniker has a brand new member. Meet the E-Tron Quattro Concept. This all-electric SUV is the spiritual brother to the 2010 Audi E-Tron concept that debuted in 2010, and combined the latest technologies that make all-electric vehicles more of a consumer good than science project.

Of course automakers like Tesla and Nissan already have fully electric vehicles on the market. In fact, Tesla’s upcoming 2016 Tesla Model X will be a hardy rival to Audi’s E-Tron Quattro. However, the Model X will likely arrive before the E-Tron Quattro, which Audi promises in “early 2018.”

Rivalry aside, this concept is a solid look into what the future holds for Audi, both in terms of design and electronics. The sculpted exterior has hints of Audi’s current design themes with a generous portion of new flair sprinkled in. Powertrain wise, the E-Tron Quattro packs three electric motors – one up front and two in back – to move the low-slung SUV to 62 mph in a projected 4.6 seconds and onto a governed top speed of 130.5 mph.

Besides offering surprising performance, the E-Tron Quattro is filled to the brim with futuristic tech, including its charging system. There is a Combined Charging System that handles DC and AC current, a wireless induction system, and a solar panel system built onto the roof. If you’re lucky enough to find a 150-kW DC fast charger, the Audi’s battery pack can be recharged in roughly 50 minutes.

These details only scratch the surface, so keep reading for all the futuristic tech.

Updated 09/21/2015: We’ve added a series of new images we took at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Find the new images in the "Pictures" tab.

Continue reading for my full review of the E-Tron Quattro Concept.

  • 2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    429
  • Torque @ RPM:
    590
  • 0-60 time:
    4.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • car segment:
  • car fuel:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The E-Tron Quattro offers a fantastic view into Audi’s future design themes. The large grille now has a new shape and horizontal bars while keeping its angular design. The high belt line and low roof line keep give E-Tron Quatto a planted appearance, aided by the massive wheels and grey accents long the lower panels.

The high belt line and low roof line keep give E-Tron Quatto a planted appearance, aided by the massive wheels and grey accents long the lower panels.

The sloping roof is covered in solar panels that offer a trickle charge into the battery system. In keeping with the energy efficient idea, the SUV uses Audi’s first example of OLED (organic LED) lighting and Matrix laser technology in both its headlights and taillights. Not only do they consume very little power, they also look fantastic.

In order to conserve electrical power while under way, Audi designers sculpted the E-Tron Quattro to have minimal drag, ultimately achieving a drag coefficient of 0.25 – much less than an average SUV this size. Helping in that endeavor are the exterior-mounted cameras that replace the side mirrors. While current governmental legislation won’t currently allow such a system, the laws can potentially be changed by 2018.

Audi’s final key to slipping through the air actually uses air. The E-Tron Quattro’s air suspension system lowers the vehicle at highway speeds to help decrease its aerodynamic footprint.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,880 MM (192.12 Inches)
Width 1,930 MM (75.98 Inches)
Height 1,540 MM (60.62 Inches)

Interior

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Interior
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As futuristic as the exterior looks, it pales in comparison to the interior. The “glass cockpit” has three massive displays that help the driver keep tabs on vehicle information, entertainment options, and HVAC controls – all through the touch screens. The beautiful flat-bottom steering wheel has controls familiar with today’s current vehicles.

Sadly, this is only a concept and we have no guarantee the production version will utilize the same designs and full OLED displays.

Drivetrain

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Drivetrain
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The E-Tron Quattro’s basic design caters to its all-electric powertrain. Like Tesla vehicles, the floor houses the battery systems. This keeps weight planted low and allows for a large, flat storage area. In this particular case, Audi engineers fitted the concept with a 95 kWh battery that powers three electric motors. The front axle has one motor while the rear has the other two. This gives the E-Tron Quattro AWD (hints the Quattro name) and allows for high levels of performance.

Audi says it has a maximum range of 310.7 miles when driven conservatively. When at the track or between stop lights, the E-Tron Quattro will hit 62 mph in 4.6 seconds thanks to a total electrical output of 320 kW. That translates into 429 horsepower. If that’s not enough, the E-Tron has a “boost” setting that allow 370 kW of output, or 496 horsepower for a short time. Under boost, torque output is a staggering 590 pound-feet.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type three electric motors
Total output 320 kW (429 HP)/ 370 kW (496 HP) while boosting
Torque 590 LB-FT while boosting
0 -100 km/h (62.1 mph) 4.6 seconds
Top speed 210 km/h (130.5 mph)

Competition

2016 Tesla Model X

2012 Tesla Model X Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Tesla will beat Audi to market with its long-promised Model X crossover. This all-electric SUV will have many of the same features found in the Model S sedan, include different power outputs from different battery options. Its expected range is in excess of 200 miles when driven conservatively yet can still hit 60 mph in under six seconds.

Though these stats aren’t as impressive as Audi’s, Tesla is much closer to a production version. That doesn’t mean the German automaker won’t have the E-Tron Quattro’s range and power by 2018, but it’s hard to argue with (nearly) tangible goods.

Prices for the Model X are expected to range from $82,000 to $115,000, depending on battery output.

Read our speculative review here.

Conclusion

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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While the E-Tron Quattro might not be hitting dealer showrooms anytime soon, the concept vehicle gives us a glimpse at what Audi is up to. The design language both inside and out gives us an idea of what to expect over the next three years, while the innovative battery, electric motor, and charging systems provide a hopeful promise for future EV technologies.

Thanks to vehicles like this, the pair from Tesla, and even more utilitarian 2016 Nissan Leaf, the future is looking bright. While enthusiasts will cling to their internal combustion engines for weekend toys (myself included), EVs can provide smart solutions to everyday travels and crowded urban environments.

  • Leave it
    • Will the production version be this cool?
    • Will likely be very expensive
    • Tesla Model X will be the first luxury electric crossover

Updated History

Updated 09/17/2015: The new Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept made its world debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Updated 09/07/2015: Audi dropped a first teaser video for its future E-tron Quattro Concept, with just one week before the official debut in Frankfurt. Enjoy!

Press Release

Flow-enhanced design with a drag coefficient of 0.25; a powerful, all-electric e-tron quattro drive with up to 370 kW – Audi is presenting the Audi e-tron quattro concept at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2015 in Frankfurt. The car is the company’s statement about the future of electric mobility: It is sporty, efficient and suitable for everyday use.

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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“Audi will present an all-electric, luxury-class sport SUV in early 2018. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept provides a concrete foretaste of this,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development. “It combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort.”

Electric power
The Audi e‑tron quattro concept uses the power of three electric motors: One electric motor drives the front axle, the two others act on the rear axle. Total output is 320 kW. The driver can even mobilize 370 kW and over 800 Nm (590.0 lb-ft) of torque temporarily while boosting. The concept study thus performs like a sports car. When the driver floors the right pedal, the Audi e‑tron quattro concept sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.6 seconds and quickly reaches the electronically governed top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph).

The concept with three electric motors which Audi is presenting for the first time makes the technology study an e‑tron quattro. An intelligent drive management system controls the interplay between them as appropriate for the situation. The focus here is on the greatest possible efficiency. The driver decides on the degree of recuperation, the driving program S or D and the mode of the Audi drive select system.

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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During sporty driving on a winding road, the Torque Control Manager actively distributes the power between the rear wheels as necessary. This torque vectoring provides for maximum dynamics and stability.

The large lithium-ion battery is integrated into the floor of the passenger compartment. It gives the Audi e‑tron quattro concept a balanced axle load distribution and a low center of gravity – prerequisites for its dynamic handling. The battery’s capacity of 95 kWh enables a range of more than 500 kilometers (310.7 mi). The Combined Charging System (CCS) enables charging with DC or AC electrical current. A full charge with DC electrical current at a charging column with an output of 150 kW takes just around 50 minutes. As an alternative, the study is equipped with Audi Wireless Charging technology for contactless induction charging. The charging process is very convenient. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept uses a system for piloted parking that guides it to the proper position at the charging plate. In addition, a large solar roof provides electricity for the drive system battery on sunny days.

The chassis also expresses the high-tech character of the concept study. The adaptive air suspension sport, which features controlled damping, lowers the body at higher speeds to reduce drag. The dynamic-all-wheel steering combines a dynamic steering system on the front axle with a steering system for the rear wheels. Depending on speed and the driving situation, they steer either opposite or in the same direction as the front wheels. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept thus reacts even more spontaneously and stably, and is also very manoeuvrable at low speeds.

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Aerodynamic: The exterior design
The Audi e‑tron quattro concept harmoniously combines the design with the aerodynamics and all-electric drive system. The five-door technology study is 4.88 meters (16.0 ft) long, 1.93 meters (6.3 ft) wide and just 1.54 meters (5.1 ft) high. Its coupe-like silhouette with the extremely flat greenhouse that tapers strongly toward the rear lends it a very dynamic appearance. The car’s drag coefficient measures just 0.25 – a new best for the SUV segment, where figures are usually considerably over 0.30.

All of this contributes considerably to the long range of more than 500 kilometers (310.7 miles). At speeds from 80 km/h (49.7 mi), electrically actuated aerodynamic elements on the engine hood, the flanks and at the rear end direct the flow of air as needed to improve the flow through and around the vehicle. This is one example of the intensive development work in the wind tunnel. Wind noise is low on board the car, and there are no engine noises in an electric car in any case. The fascination of electric driving unfolds in near total silence.

The vertical separating edges on the side panels and the fully enclosed floor pan with its newly designed microstructures contribute to reducing drag. Cameras replace the exterior mirrors – another contribution to the excellent aerodynamics and also a foretaste of the future of driving.

2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept High Resolution Exterior
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All the main lighting functions at the front of the car use Matrix laser technology. The bottom section houses a new, distinctive lighting signature comprising five lighting elements. Each of these combines an LED luminary with an extremely flat OLED element (organic light-emitting diode). Audi is developing Matrix OLED technology for use in production vehicles and is showing it for the first time in the concept study at the IAA.

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