Ten European countries in 24 hours – the Audi e-tron has impressively demonstrated its long-distance qualities. On August 20, nine journalists set out on the tour stretching over 1,600 km (994.2 mi) from Lake Bled in Slovenia to Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The electric SUV with its long range and short charging stops proved to be a compelling proposition. Combined with its powerful drive and comfortable interior, it turns electric touring into a premium experience.
Lake Bled lies idyllically on the edge of the Pokljukaplateau in northern Slovenia. Here three Audi e-tron 55 quattro models, each with three journalists onboard, set off on a particular challenge: 10 European countries in 24 hours. The 1,600 kilometer-plus (994.2 mi) tour took them through Austria, Italy, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. On stages where the topography could have hardly been more different, the Audi e-tron showed just how comfortable, dynamic and suitable for long journeys the first electric car from the brand with the four rings is.
The Audi e-tron is on the cusp of a new era of mobility – and it makes a bold statement. “Our electric SUV is an excellent long-distance car because it perfectly combines a high degree of ride comfort, performance and efficiency,” explains Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, Audi Board of Management Member for Technical Development. “On the journalists’ tour we’ve also shown that, apart from the range itself, fast-charging capability with 150 kW is crucially important.”
Saves time: fast-charging with 150 kW
Thanks to direct-current charging at high-power charging stations, the lithium-ion battery of the Audi e-tron reaches 80 percent of its capacity in just under 30 minutes – fundamentally saving time on long stages. The basis for the high charging output is the complex thermal management, which also ensures a long battery service life combined with consistently excellent performance, even under high load. All seven charging stops on the tour – in Kärnten, South Tyrol, Vorarlberg, in the Canton of Zurich, in the Breisgau, in the Eifel and near Liège – were completed at this type of fast-charging station. These are also integrated into the e-tron Charging Service, along with the AC charging stations where the Audi e-tron can recharge using up to 11 kW of alternating current. Audi’s proprietary charging service covers around 100,000 charging points altogether in 19 EU countries – with numbers growing all the time. The customer simply needs a single card to start the charging process at these charging points. Customers have to register one time on the myAudi portal and conclude an individual charging contract to use the service. Billing is automatic via the user account. No physical means of payment is used. Standardized, country-specific prices mean that you can travel freely and easily without having to constantly compare prices.
Stage winner: perfect mix of performance, efficiency and comfort
Thanks to the different route profiles, the Audi e-tron 55 quattro also managed to demonstrate its specific dynamic handling strengths. In the Alps it made full use of the maximum power of up to 300 kW and 664 Nm (489.7 lb-ft) of torque on the uphill climbs. Downhill it reaped the benefits of its superior recuperation concept that allows it to recover up to 220 kW and 300 Nm (221.3 lb-ft) when braking and convert it into electricity – a benchmark figure among the competition. The electric all-wheel drive also delivered optimum traction and dynamism on the winding stretches in South Tyrol. This system ensures the continuous and fully variable regulation of the ideal distribution of drive torque between the two axles – within a fraction of a second.On the flat stages along the Rhine, in Belgium and the Netherlands traveling at constant speeds, the sophisticated aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.27 contributed substantially to the low fuel consumption. And over the entire tour, the electric powered SUV put on a brilliant performance with its outstanding ride and noise comfort, which is also on a par with vehicles in the full-size class. So too is the amount of space, which is increased in the foot area in the rear in particular thanks to the drivetrain configuration. Leather seats with massage function, an ionizer for first-class air quality and the contour/ambient lighting, which transformed the interior on the night stages into a feel-good lounge, add the finishing touches to the outstanding long-distance qualities.