Frankfurt preview: Audi e-tron quattro concept

Frankfurt preview: Audi e-tron quattro concept

Audi is taking the fight to Tesla in the crossover segment with an all-electric crossover concept debuting this week at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

The e-tron quattro concept features a three-motor electric drive system. One motor powers the front wheels while the other two power the rears. Total power output runs from more than 425 horsepower in normal operating mode to nearly 500 in short bursts of “boost” mode, all while pushing nearly 600 lb-ft of near-instantaneous torque.

Those numbers suggest decent performance, and Audi thinks so too, claiming that the concept can do 0-62 in 4.6 seconds on the way to a 130-mile-per-hour top speed. That’s not bad considering the CUV platform. It’s even better when you consider that Audi’s range target for the project is 500 kilometers (310.7 miles), putting it squarely in Tesla Model X territory.

The 95 kWh battery pack is laid out under the floor, much like Tesla’s. DC charging (150 kW) takes only 50 minutes, but no figures were suggested for AC. It is, however, capable of wireless charging, and like Volkswagen’s Tiguan GTE concept, a solar panel roof aids in charging when conditions permit.

Outside, the e-tron quattro concept’s styling is all Audi. A futuristic, octagonal take on the signature Audi grille dominates the nose, while the sides and rear all draw on Audi’s existing CUV styling, adding only a slightly edgier finish to perhaps emphasize its mission. Certainly, nothing about it screams “low-drag penalty box,” from the multi-spoke, turbine-esque wheels to the sharp hatch lines and fast rear glass.

Audi promises that the e-tron quattro concept foreshadows a production CUV model that will debut in 2018.

“The Audi e-tron quattro concept provides a concrete foretaste of this,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development. “It combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort.”

Stay tuned for live images from the e-tron quattro concept’s formal debut in Frankfurt.

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