Audi e-tron prototype adrift in the Kalahari desert in new photo gallery
The Audi e-tron SUV was unveiled to the public in September in the United States, and earlier this month the production version was on display in Europe, at the Paris Motor Show.
And we’re not sorry for that to happen, frankly, we find the masked prototype much more appealing than the dull-colored models shown in San Francisco and Paris. Mainly because the prototype version is not stationary, but continues to do things.
This week Audi has decided to show the e-tron in the sands of Namibia, on a dry salt lake on the edge of the Kalahari Desert or across the savannah, where it has been sent to test its new quattro drivetrain.
The system under test at the time of this adventure, the electric all-wheel drive, is said to be much faster than conventional quattro technology, simply because it lacks a mechanical clutch, which operates simply by distributing electricity.
For example, if understeer is detected, the system instantly compensates by braking, while wheel slip is controlled directly by the power electronics of electric motors, 50 times faster than with conventional quattro technology .
On the performance side, the e-tron is powered by a 95 kW battery mounted low and in the middle position and two electric motors that develop 355 hp and 561 Nm (413.8 lb-ft) of torque.
The total range of the e-tron is 248 miles (400 km), with the recovery system deployed on the car lending a hand.
Audi claims that it is the first automaker in the world to use engines and the electro-hydraulic brake control system in a production vehicle to regenerate energy.
The e-tron SUV is already in production at the Audi plant in Brussels, Belgium. The car will sell in Europe for 79,900 EUR.