This is the Audi e-tron Quattro, a rather large SUV that’s to be the company’s first real full EV to kick off their electric assault in earnest, which was brought to the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. But here’s the strange thing: its appearance in Geneva was originally meant to be more subdued.
It’s been a widely known that Audi was readying their new electric range, one that would be spurred by this car, and that they are rather close to its full production unveil. Rather, that’s scheduled to occur at the less glitzy Brussels Motor Show later this year.
But with the recent reveal of the Jaguar’s own fully electric SUV (or large crossover), the I-PACE, and the fact that Jag immediately announced prices and opened order books, Audi went on the offensive, taking four e-tron prototypes out of their normal testing schedules, prepping them for boulevard duty, and deployed them out to prowl the streets of the Swiss capital, according to Autocar.
There are around 250 such test vehicles spread across four continents to gather useful real-world data in various conditions on and off road. First previewed in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show by the aptly named e-tron quattro concept, Audi has seemed to have kept much of that original design intact
Aside from the mildly distracting triple-tone exterior wrap, there’s really nothing that should be changed over this prototype and the final version that will reach the production lines. It wants the attendees of the Geneva Motor Show to be well aware of the fact that Audi is on the cusp of a significant step in their electric master plan, itself a branch of parent company Volkswagen’s wider machinations.
Once the first e-tron model reaches the showroom within the next year, it will be followed up by a sportier coupe-like version that’s likely to be quite similar to the e-tron Sportback Concept of 2017. A third model is likely to follow that up, one purported to be even smaller and perhaps close in size their A3 hatch.
Little is known about the e-tron quattro despite its surprise appearance in Geneva as Audi has elected to divulge nearly nothing, even tentative, about its specification. Since it’s called quattro, there will definitely be at least two electric motors to drive all four wheels, and such a large vehicle surely must necessitate a battery with a capacity pushing 100kWh in order to match the expected range of a petrol or diesel powered equivalent before requiring a recharge.
Audi is also readying a 150kW fast charging system to debut alongside the e-tron, one that would be able to bring a depleted battery to 80 percent charged in approximately 30 minutes, possibly with the same kind of inductive pad facility that Porsche just showed off as part of its Mission E Cross Turismo reveal.