The tension rises

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Long years, Tesla was largely alone in the market of luxury electric cars. Now this is about to change. After Jaguar and Mercedes, Audi is now sending its electricity into the race: the e-tron.


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Tom Grünweg

Tom Grünweg

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Tuesday, 18.09.2018
At 08:57

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The car should start at Audi a Revolution, not looks. It is a SUV. 4.90 meters long, the trunk have a capacity of 600 liters, five passengers can sit comfortably even on the backseat. Product Manager Markus Siebert says: “We want to serve any niche, but a car with a broad impact.”

The car is called the Audi e-tron and will be the first all-electric vehicle, the Volkswagen subsidiary. The width of the cars a blessing and a curse at the same time: Large, heavy cars to lead the actual goal of electric cars, namely the sustainable mobility, to the point of absurdity. At the same time SUV are the currently most successful type of vehicle. That Audi is building for E-SUV, so at least strategically understandable – especially since the competitors of the Jaguar and Mercedes locate their electric Offensive with models iPace, and EQ-C in the same Segment.

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Audi e-tron:
The tension rises

In comparison to the competitors of the e-tron is quite an Additional to: Audi, for example, has used more consistently than, for example, Mercedes are the benefits of an electric architecture and a completely flat floor done – no transmission tunnel reduces the space in the footwell. Under the bonnet, the electric technology could play out in a surprising way, your space advantage: project Manager, Siebert says of the “Frunk”, which derives its name from the English terms “Front” and “Trunk”. This second trunk is 60 litres, significantly smaller than that of the Tesla Model X, but at least large enough for the charging cable. Which is otherwise stowed in the trunk floor, and look at not forcing quite as ahead of the end of driver in front of the Charge during the holiday travel still to unload.

The emergence of the battery Era

It’s the Details that make up the car are actually, visually, too: Because the head of design Marc wants to take the light of millions of existing customers in the new electrical Era, he has been holding too large jumps in the design: A pair of new, distinctive headlamps and tail lights, an unusual boat-tail, a pair of imitation cooling fins on the flank, and, above all, a further variant of the same single-frame grille have to suffice to illustrate the riser to the battery age.

Light and his Team had to not only keep a Balance between the old and the new world of Audi, but still another battle to fight: “More than ever, we have paid attention to the aerodynamics and the car is more in the wind tunnel than on the drawing Board designed,” claiming the light: The grill is closed, therefore, largely, the exterior mirrors will be replaced for the first Time in a large-series model by means of video cameras and the ground, so-called Dimples like a Golf ball, because of the small dents of the flow are still cheaper than a completely smooth surface, explain the developers.

Why aerodynamics is so important? Because it’s an electric car so quiet, aerodynamic noise stand out so much more. Mainly because of the range, which is in the new HP world so important as before, maybe change the sprint value from zero to one hundred km/h. In everyday life, where a two-degree diminish, more or less, to the air conditioner, the action radius of the car considerably, making the fine-work well-no difference. But, what are you allowed to print in the prospectus, pays the fine-tuning in the wind channel: “Alone with this measure, we have brought to 35 kilometers in addition”, says product Manager Siebert.

The e-tron will go on Loading in the Pole Position

In Combination with an ingenious System of regenerative braking, which contributes with the recovery of energy during braking, up to 30 percent to the possible driving range, and a battery of huge 95 kWh of storage capacity – the e-tron to a standard range of more than 400 kilometers.

That’s not bad, but not spectacular. This also applies to the driving performance. 408 horsepower from two electric motors from 0 to 100 in less than six seconds and a maximum of 200 km/h, before the electronics turns off the faucet since iPace and EQC and the Tesla’s significantly more.

The e-tron will go on Loading in the Pole Position. The car is ready for the 150 kW-technology that the VW wants to establish the group, together with Daimler, Ford and BMW under the name Ionity with 400 locations by 2020 in Europe. Within 30 minutes of the car to such a charge is made column again for the next long-haul leg. From 2019, he is supplied also with a second charger for the Garage at home: for Whom the eight hours in the case of 11 kW are too long, which can shorten the time significantly.

“Tesla loses the Status of the particular.”

Besides, it has managed to Audi, to bring 80 percent of the 65,000 public charging points in Europe contracted under a hat, you can pin with a customer account, and a card power. “That was almost as difficult as the development of the car itself,” groans Siebert.

The e-tron is Audi’s answer to the success of Tesla. An answer that remains is exactly how the iPace of Jaguar or EQ, C from Mercedes-Benz is surprisingly close to the Tesla. Yes, the interior is processed a bit better. The Infotainment seems a little more modern. And of course Audi has more experience in how to manage a production.

“Vorsprung durch Technik” still looks different. Nevertheless, the times for the Elon Musk are expected to be in the future, a little more uncomfortable, says Jan Burgard of the strategy consultancy Berylls in Munich: The hunter has become the hunted, the expert is convinced: “Because with each new model of a well-established manufacturer Tesla loses the Status of the special and must assert itself in an increasingly electrified competitive environment.”

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