Car news

06 July 2018

Take a look inside Audi's e-tron electric SUV

First pics revealed of prototype e-tron's interior. Surprise: it has many screens

Paul Horrell
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In a development that will surprise absolutely no one, Audi has revealed that its forthcoming electric SUV will have more screens than a small branch of PC World.

Taking its lead from the A8, A7 and A6, the e-tron uses two screens in its centre console, plus the firm’s usual ‘virtual cockpit’ display for the driver’s instruments. Audi itself implies it’s no revolution, saying, “Great care has been taken to make access to the technology as easy and intuitive as always with Audi”.

However, there is one stride forward. In countries where it’s allowed, the e-tron will get lipstick cameras instead of door mirrors. These are tiny, and so reduce drag and extend the electric car’s range at higher speed. The same tech was used in VW’s wonderfully extreme XL1 eco-car.

The mirror displays are little OLED screens in the front-upper corners of the door trims, just below where you’d normally be looking to check real mirrors. Usefully, they have digital zoom, so you can choose different angles of view for manoeuvring, town driving or motorways.

The main displays can of course show lots of info about energy consumption, range, charge and general eco-driving tips.

The only screen-based trick Audi seems to be missing is a head-up display, of which there’s no mention in this initial batch of bumf. But we can’t imagine when the car goes on sale next year it’ll be absent from the options list.

The JaguarI I-Pace of course also has virtual instruments, two console screens and a HUD. The Jag adds a low-power mode that turns most of them off if you want to squeeze a tiny bit more range out of the battery.

Because of the long 2,928mm wheelbase – no big piston engine under the bonnet – and the flat floor, Audi can claim the e-tron’s cockpit is as roomy as any full-size SUV.

Being Audi, the cabin is beautifully made in soft leather, reassuringly squidgy plastics, beautifully finished brushed metal and polychromatic moody backlighting.

All recent Audis have been impressively quiet, so we can safely imagine this one, absent the explosions of internal combustion, really will be an acoustic sanctuary. At least until you give some Metallica to the optional 705 watt B&Ostereo.

The e-I-ron has a battery pack of 95kWh, which should give a certified range marginally longer than the 477km of the Jaguar I-Pace.

Tags: audi, jaguar, vw. e tron

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