The e-tron name isn't new to Audi, but now the company's first all-electric SUV, simply called the e-tron, has finally arrived.
First granted to the A3 and then the Q7, as Audi dabbled in plug-in hybrids, the e-tron name will continue to be an important one for Audi: which has announced a further seven all-electric Q-series will be on the road by 2025.
With few all-electric cars of this type on the road - there's the pricey Tesla Model X and the rip-roaring Jaguar i-Pace - Audi is striking while the iron is hot. So just what you can expect from the production e-tron? Here's everything you need to know...
When will the Audi e-tron launch?
The official e-tron unveil happened in San Francisco on 17 September 2018. The original date was supposed to 30 August in Brussels, but this was pushed back.
Those in Europe can put their name on the order list, with Audi accepting £1000 deposits for priority ordering. Those in the USA can configure the Audi e-tron online, as well as put down a reservation deposit of $1000.
Delivery of cars is expected to be in late 2018 in Europe and 2019 in the USA/China.
How much will the Audi e-tron cost?
The million dollar question. At the company's 2018 Annual Press Conference, Audi's chairman, Rupert Stadler, said the car would cost €80,000, which turns out to be bang on the money, as the car will start from £70,800.
With the Jaguar i-Pace costing from £63,000, and the Tesla Model X at around £88,000 (for the all-wheel version of the 100D), the Audi is competitively priced given its larger stature and on board tech proposition.
Audi e-tron design
Until its official unveil, the Audi e-tron had been shown many times in its camouflage livery. The final on-the-road car, as shown in San Francisco for the first time, has some real stand-out design points, with plenty of Audi hallmark design.
The car has a long wheelbase, with a short overhang on the front and a longer one at the rear for dynamism. The lights are one of its most dominant features, with the four horizontal line segmentations to the front being an automatic identifier for this SUV.
That means many touch panels, but in the e-tron they're almost wrapped around the driver, in a very driver-centric approach. The automatic shifter also acts as a wrist rest, making for easy reach of the centre tunnel's screen. Audi Cockpit returns as a standard feature too, providing digital driver instrument clusters front and centre.
A big e-tron feature is the presence 'virtual mirrors'. Yep, gone are the conventional wing mirrors, replaced with small ones that employ a camera. Inside the car there are large OLED screen panels which act as digital mirrors. Very cool.
Performance, powertrain and boost mode
On the power front, the e-tron combines two electric motors: 140kW to the rear whells and 125kW to the front wheels (that's 265kW combined, or 365hp). That will deliver 0-100km/0-62mph in 6.2 seconds.
There's also a 'Boost' mode, activated by pushing back on the gearshift, as you would to put any Audi into Sport or 'S' mode. This boosts power to 300kW/410hp total, for temporary speed boost, delivering 0-100km/0-62mph in 5.7 seconds.
There's Audi Quattro all-wheel drive, so the e-tron can intelligently manage the power distribution for best control and dynamics depending on driving conditions.
When it comes to control, the e-tron has a three-step braking recuperation system. It can be switched off (0m/s) for control over the car as you'll be used to with any combusion engine, i.e. it will coast when your foot is off the accelerator. Switch the system on and, just like other electric cars, the system is a one-pedal control: take your foot off the accelerator and the system will automatically brake (at 0.5m/s), so you'll need to feather the pedal for maximum comfort. The top setting brakes harder (1m/s).
Audi e-tron battery and range
Audi confirmed the e-tron has a 95kWh battery, said to deliver a 400km/250-mile range (based on WLTP testing - which is why you may also see quotes up to 500km/310m range). It supports 150kW charging, which is super-fast.
The battery will sit in the floor of the car between the front and rear axles under the passenger cabin. It weighs around 700kg and is comprised of 36 modules containing 12 pouch cells each. The battery can be removed and individual modules replaced if necessary.
The entire battery has an integrated thermal management system that can cool or heat the battery to maintain optimal conditions between 25-35C. There's a radiator in the front of the car for low load cooling and a secondary chiller system for cooling in more demanding situations. The chiller cycle can be reversed for heating if necessary in colder conditions. Audi says that the thermal management system allows for consistent performance from the battery, something that, for example, the Nissan Leaf doesn't offer.
The Audi e-tron will have a CCS type socket on the left-hand side of the car. CCS combines both fast AC charging (compatible with common type 2 plugs) as well as rapid DC charging in the same socket. There will be the option for a second AC socket on the right-hand side of the car, although as we understand it, this will be a customer option and is really only for convenience.
The Audi e-tron's headline charging feature is support for 150kW charging, making it the fastest charging EV to hit the market yet - Tesla supports 120kW charging. That 150kW charging is DC charging, but you'll need to find the source for that.
Audi is part of the Ionity network, which is installing these 150kW chargers on major traffic routes around Europe. There will be 200 in place by the end of 2018. At 150kW, the Audi e-tron will charge to 80 per cent in 30 minutes.
The Audi e-tron has an 11kW charger onboard to convert AC to DC for more regular charging at home and via existing public charging points. This will enable recharging to 100 per cent in 8.5 hours. This is supported by the 'compact' charging cable that will come with the car, which can also be fitted with a standard domestic plug for 2.3kW charging. Otherwise, Audi is supporting 400V industrial sockets, which is what you might need to install at home.
The Audi e-tron will also support 22kW charging, although this is a step-up option. For this you'll need a second charger in the car (basically another box) to enable this faster rate. You can then charge using the 'connect' charger, which also enables some smarter charging features, with the ability to reduce charging to 4.5 hours.
Audi e-tron Charging Service
To make charging simple, Audi will be launching the e-tron Charging Service. This will be a single card that aggregates all public charging points, so you won't have to have multiple subscriptions, apps or cards to use public points - just the one provided by Audi.