Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Audi’s first all-electric vehicle

Audi’s engineers are currently developing the company’s first all-electric vehicle. Almost 250 e-tron prototypes are being pushed to the limit in extreme conditions on a three-million-mile global test schedule. Customers in the UK are now able to place a fully refundable £1000 deposit, prior to the first cars arriving in 2019.
This example recently spent time in the cavernous high-voltage bay at electrification specialist Siemens’ Berlin switchgear plant. Experts aimed a flash-over voltage at the SUV, causing what appeared to be bolts of lightning to crackle millimetres above its roof. The e-tron prototype conducted itself impeccably, of course.
Positioned inside the Audi Wind Tunnel Centre in Ingolstadt, in front of a rotor measuring five metres in diameter, the Audi e-tron prototype prepares to face wind speeds of up to 186mph. The vehicle has undergone more than 1000 hours of testing in this state-of-the-art facility.
Extensive testing in the wind tunnel has resulted in a drag coefficient (the measurement that quantifies how easily a vehicle glides through the air) of just 0.28*. This helps endow the Audi e-tron prototype with an electric driving range of more than 400km (248.5 miles)* in the WLTP cycle.
*preliminary figures
The production version of the Audi
e-tron prototype will be offered with optional virtual exterior mirrors projecting images on to OLED displays. This will cut the SUV’s width by 15cm, reduce aerodynamic drag and lessen the vehicle’s already low levels of wind noise.

The Audi e-tron prototype boasts underbody ‘dimples’ – bowl-shaped indentations around the bolting points for the aluminium plate that protects the high-voltage battery. Similar to the dimples on a golf ball, these make the airflow much more effectively than a totally flat surface.

Audi’s new electric e-tron Vision Gran Turismo is a computer-game contender made real. The concept was originally developed for the world of cult PlayStation game Gran Turismo, but Audi has now built it for real at its pre-production centre – and in just 11 months. Under its sleek bodywork is a steel spaceframe chassis that supports no fewer than three 200kW electric motors and a permanent all-wheel-drive system. At each corner lie slick racing tyres, which help the car put all of its 815PS to the ground and sprint to 62mph in under 2.5 seconds. The car is currently used to give guests ‘race taxi’ rides during various rounds of the FIA Formula E Championship. Audi Sport has confirmed it will launch a production version of the car in 2020.
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