Looking to take on Tesla in its very own backyard in partnership with Amazon, Audi has launched its very first, product ready electric vehicle. The car, which is currently being christened as “Audi e-tron”, is a midsize SUV and will be offered in the United States next year at a starting price of $75,795 before a $7,500 tax credit.
This latest launch from Audi comes amid a slew of launches coming from a multitude of European brands, most of which are coming from the Volkswagen AG collection. For Audi, e-tron is the first fully electrically powered series production model from the brand with the four rings.
The electric SUV is powered by two powerful electric motors that are locally CO2-neutral and virtually silent. Audi has also deployed a new generation of its powerful quattro drive tech to ensure excellent traction and dynamics. It ensures the continuous and variable regulation of the ideal distribution of drive torques between the two axles – within a fraction of a second.
Design language for e-tron is impressive at the very first look. The car is sleek with sharp, trademark-Audi front grills and a continous running LED taillight. The company says, that a key factor for the sporty character and outstanding transverse dynamics is the low and central position at which the battery system is installed.
As you would expect from a modern, futuristic electric vehicle, the gadgetry on the inside of e-tron is amazing as well. The car comes with a full-featured, well connected navigation system. It also has a smart route planner, which displays the appropriate route with the required charging points, automated billing at the charging station and all the way to remote control via smartphone. It is equipped with the high-end media center MMI navigation plus including LTE Advanced and a Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. Numerous assist systems further relieve the driver.
Partnership with Amazon
As a part of this launch, Audi has also announced an exclusive partnership with Amazon with respect to distribution of the charging mechanism.
Audi will partner with online retailer Amazon to sell and install home electric vehicle charging systems to buyers of the e-tron. The e-commerce brand will also deliver the hardware and hire electricians to install them through its Amazon Home Services operation.
Amazon’s partnership with Audi to provide home charging systems is the first time the online retailer has struck such a deal with an automaker. And the fact holds significance since it points to a new direction Amazon is looking at, when it comes to making sure of its products’ presence amid as many consumer types as it can possibly get.
The Audi e-tron rolls off the assembly line at the CO2-neutral plant in Brussels. Initial deliveries to European customers are planned for late 2018. The starting price of the electric SUV in Germany is 79,900 euros.