Audi Starts Mass Production of e-tron Electric SUV

Audi's contender to the Model X has finally arrived. 

via Audi

Audi started mass production of its new e-tron all electric SUV ahead of its Sep. 17. debut in San Francisco. Audi believes the e-tron will be a pioneer in its segment, becoming the first mass-produced electric SUV from a German automaker. 

Audi also released a video of the e-tron doing some hot weather testing in South Africa Tuesday. 

There are two challenges that Audi featured in the video, the first being a cool down test. It starts the test by leaving the vehicle in the sun until it reaches 68 degrees Celsius (154 degrees Fahrenheit). Once there the engineer gets in the vehicle and sees if he can cool it to 22 C (71 F), within 15 minutes on the max air-condition settings. The second challenge is a zero-to-200 kph (124.3 mph) test, seeing if the vehicle can still repeatedly accelerate after driving around in the hot climate all day. The e-tron successfully completed the test six times and still had power left in its battery. 

The e-tron will have 265-kilowatt (355 horsepower) and 561 newton-meter (414 pound-feet) from its two electric motors, and is expected to have a maximum range of 400 kilometers (249 miles). The virtual mirrors, which will be displayed on seven-inch OLED screens directly below the windows on the two front doors and can be configured with several pre-programmed settings, are currently only slated for European models.

The Audi e-tron will be competing with the recently released Mercedes Benz EQC, which also features an all-wheel-drive system powered by two electric motors. The EQC will have 402 hp and 564 pound-feet of torque, which takes the compact CUV from zero-to-60 in 4.9 seconds and to a top speed 112 mph. There is an 80 kilowatt-hour battery, which is estimated to give the EQC400 a 200-mile range. 

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