SAN FRANCISCO -- The Audi e-tron will boast a 95-kilowatt-hour battery, full-time all-wheel drive and a host of interconnected goodies to make owning the automaker's first series full-electric vehicle more enjoyable.
What the five-seat premium SUV also will have, though, is the same 0-to-60 (0-97 km) time as a 2017 Audi A3 sedan (5.5 seconds) and the lowest top speed 124 mph (200 kph) of any modern Audi except the 1984 Audi Coupe (116 mph). However, like all electric vehicles, the e-tron will boast almost immediate torque, boosting its sporty feel.
Audi has said the e-tron will have a range of just under 250 miles (400 km), based on the WLTP cycle used in Europe. An official range estimate in the U.S. will be available closer to launch next year, an Audi of America spokesman said
The e-tron's starting price is 79,900 euros in Germany, Audi said. European sales start in November. Pricing starts at $75,795 in the U.S. where it arrives in the second quarter.
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.
In Europe, the e-tron will offer an option of cameras instead of conventional mirrors to give drivers a view to the rear. That feature is still not approved by U.S. regulators.
The SUV employs a pair of cooled asynchronous motors attached to single-stage transmissions to deliver torque to the e-tron's axles. When the crossover is operating at moderate speeds under a light load, power primarily comes from the rear motor and axle, and when it is coasting, both motors operate free of magnetic drag torque, increasing efficiency.
The e-tron's two electric motors - one in the front and one in the rear - drive all four wheels. It recaptures energy to charge the battery as it is coasting as well as during braking, with the driver able to select the amount of energy recovery via paddles on the steering wheel. In its top recovery mode, the e-tron begins to noticeably slow as soon as the driver eases up on the accelerator pedal, allowing the driver to operate the crossover with a single pedal.