By on September 15, 2015


Audi’s latest reveal, the e-tron quattro, might be only a concept at this point, but the all-electric SUV offers a glimpse as to what’s to come from the German premium automaker in 2018 when they roll out a production version in the same vein.

We won’t have full specs on the production EV until closer to launch, but Audi touts the e-tron quattro as having 310 mile range capability along with up to 496 horsepower from three electric motors driving all four wheels.

Yet, even with all that power and efficiency, can you find what’s missing from this all-electric concept?


Audi has completely gotten rid of the lowly side mirror in order to make the e-tron quattro concept a more slippery affair — and it seems to have worked.

At 16 feet long, 6.3 feet wide, and 5.1 feet tall, the concept still only has a drag coefficient of 0.25. An active air suspension and flat underbelly aid in boosting that efficiency, as does the active aero system built into certain body panels. Driving quality, says Audi, is also improved as the new aero elements make the e-tron quattro a very quiet highway companion.

But, what of those mirrors?


Audi, in their efforts to put OLED screens on every possible surface, has replaced the humble side mirror with screens embedded in the doors. This means there’s no longer a need to adjust the angle for different drivers as line of sight is completely digital.

Another of Audi’s OLED experiments is to make the area to the left of the steering wheel, usually reserved for light controls, completely digital. That seems like a bit of a stretch. The rest of the dash is an expansion of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit technology, including another OLED panel below the shifter.

Meanwhile, for those who care about all-electric performance, the e-tron quattro will be powered by three electric motors with a normal output of 430 horsepower. If the driver requests a bit more oomph, output is boosted to 496 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, rocketing the concept to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 130 mph.

If you’re wanting to tackle the twisties, active torque management between the rear wheels and four-wheel steering will give the behemoth some nimbleness.

…and all that in a sport-utility vehicle with 21.7 cu. ft. of cargo space and seating for four.

Audi states the e-tron quattro will fully charge its 95 kWh battery pack in 50 minutes from a 150 kW charging station, or it can be wirelessly charged from a plate that the vehicle finds on its own.

If even half of this concept wizardry comes to fruition in 2018, this might just be the loudest salvo fired at Silicon Valley to date.

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16 Comments on “Frankfurt 2015: Audi e-tron quattro concept Cruises 310 Mile Electric Avenue...”

  • avatar

    I like pretty much everything about this car that’s behind the headlights.

    I don’t understand Audi’s current obsession with epic sized hyper angular grilles chock-full of vacuum foil plated chrome dental work. It’s just busy and ugly. On an electric car. that doesn’t need a grille.

    you know, I hate Porsches. I hate the cars, I hate the people who drive the cars, I hate the people who sell the cars. but from a future forward perspective, they’re probably the only company with a front-end design language that lends itself to electric cars.

  • avatar

    “..can you find what’s missing from this all-electric concept?”

    Sidewalls. But that’s easily fixed.

  • avatar

    At the end of the day, TESLA is going to get SLAUGHTERED by the German EV producers. The Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW badge says a whole lot more than a TESLA badge. I just need the share price to rise so I can sell all and walk away.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    What happens in the winte when the camera lenses get covered in snow? At least side view mirrors can have defrost functions built into them, not sure about the cameras

    • 0 avatar

      Great catch. I suspect the cameras are in a little recess to protect them from direct contact and maybe even have weensy heaters surrounding their lenses thus ensuring that whatever gets pushed into the recess melts and drips out?

      Otherwise, yeah, packed in solid after 5 minutes of a heavy, wet snow. And even *with* that system if it’s snowing hard enough.

  • avatar

    >> Yet, even with all that power and efficiency, can you find what’s missing from this all-electric concept?

    Uhh, let’s see – how about a decent charging network? As an EV owner, that’s the first thing I’m going to look for in a new car. On the other hand, with 300+ mile range I’m not sure I’d ever need a public charger. Still, that supercharger network is a huge huge asset and the CCS/SAE Combo network is a joke.

    The few SAE chargers out seem to be mostly at dealers. Dealer based means that you’re often dependent on the dealerships hours and the chargers are prone to being blocked by vehicles waiting to be serviced and sometimes even used to display vehicles for sale. Then you have the dealers with the “if you didn’t buy it here, you can’t charge here” attitude.

    The SuperCharger network is growing and separate from dealers. Plenty of locations in New England where I live. No SuperCharger? Then you can fall back to the CHAdeMO network if you have a Tesla.

    Go onto and use the filters to compare quick charging options for the combined supercharger and CHAdeMO networks a Tesla can use vs. the SAE Combo locations. Then read the comments for the Tesla Superchargers vs. the SAE Combo comments.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    What exactly makes something qualify as an SUV? Cartoonishly large wheels? It looks like a station wagon to me–like one of those Dodge Magnums.

    • 0 avatar

      Getting “light truck” status with the EPA/NHTSA is the key. Otherwise it’s just a station wagon that faces higher pollution and efficiency standards.

      In the case of the Dodge Magnum, I think it got the classification for the same reason as the PT Cruiser: sufficient size flat cargo floor.

      In the case of the old Outbacks, I think they got the preferential status by jacking the vehicle up off the ground a few more inches.

  • avatar

    If an electric car was available with half the performance and most of the cargo space I’d have bought it 2 years ago. Is it really that hard to put 2 leaf drive trains in a slightly bigger chassis for $45k? I made a push to get in on the Leaf deal (thanks TTAC) but my wife shot it down due to a combination of my height and car seat space. Right now our electric car options are luxury or city. Hopefully someone jumps on the much bigger suburban market soon.

  • avatar

    Holy 1987. This would fit right into Terminator, and the “future vehicles” people thought of at that time. It also reminded me of this straight away.

    At least that grille is functional.

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