Published: Thu, September 20, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Get renewable energy for your 2019 Audi e-tron

Get renewable energy for your 2019 Audi e-tron

German luxury auto brand Audi on Monday staged the global launch of a new all electric SUV (sport utility vehicle) on the home turf of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), and highlighted a deal with Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) to make recharging its forthcoming e-tron models easier.

While we're unsure if it will live up to those lofty aims, it is indeed one of a number of new all-electric cars that manufacturers across the industry have been planning to bring to market.

The SUV was unveiled here because the E-Tron was designed with the US market especially on the mind, Audi executives said.

Recommended pricing for the vehicle is set to start at €79 900 (~R1.38 million).

An e-tron Sportback will join the range in 2019 while the following year a sportier e-tron GT from AudiSport arrives. The battery of the vehicle has a capacity of 95kWh and develops a power output of 265kW.

The Audi e-tron has been dubbed "the Tesla Killer".

Audi e-tron
AudiAudi e-tron interior

Inside the e-tron's cabin, two centrally mounted control touch screens - one 10.1 inches and the other 8.6 inches - are used for the infotainment system and cabin controls, while the instrument cluster features a version of Audi's adaptable screen display, allowing a more integrated map with Google Earth images.

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But an e-tron detail is a hand rest above the console that incorporates a gear selector operated with your thumb and index finger.

As for the specs, the e-tron seats five people and, as advertised, is 100% electric and can be charged at home or at public charging stations. After saying the keyword "Alexa", the LTE module in the MMI system establishes a connection via an Audi back-end and sends the queries to the Amazon servers. The nose of the e-tron is familiar but with a more aerodynamic shape, including a sleeker interpretation of Audi's signature Singleframe grille with a platinum gray finish to signify the SUV's electric drivetrain. The electric SUV will have a top speed of 124mph. A "First Edition" model (Audi's making only 999 units) will be available for the increased price of $86,700. The first deliveries are expected to land in the second quarter of 2019.

Audi will partner with online retailer Amazon to sell and install home EV charging systems to buyers of the e-tron, the companies said Monday. It matches the Tesla Model X in some key metrics on paper: price, equipment, estimated performance, and estimated battery range.

In the name of efficiency, the e-tron will operate in two-wheel drive under most driving conditions.

Tesla's production struggles have intensified thanks to its mass-market Model 3 sedan.

OnePlus To Launch TV
Interestingly, OnePlus isn't the only Chinese smartphone maker that has started focusing towards the smart TV market. OnePlus founder and CEO has announced that he will lead the new division alongside the existing smartphone division.


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