We also get a glimpse at the Audi E-Tron’s hi-tech interior.
Audi recently confirmed the upcoming E-Tron won’t have conventional door mirrors. You know how most concept cars have cameras instead of door mirrors? This is finally being applied to a production car, as Audi’s electric SUV will be the first mass-produced car to feature what the automaker calls "virtual mirrors". Audi has said they will be narrower than standard mirrors and reduce the E-Tron’s width by 5.9 inches. The shape of these mirrors will also reduce drag and eliminate wind noise.
Images captured by the cameras appear on high resolution OLED displays located between the instrument panel and door. A clip uploaded by Auditography gives us a better idea of how they will work. Using a touch screen, the user can bring up an array of options to adjust the display. The driver can also change where the camera looks by using a finger, and also adjust the passenger side display.
It’s all very futuristic, but their practicality is questionable. Another video uploaded by Audi’s Spanish YouTube channel shows the virtual mirrors being used on the road. While the seven-inch displays are seamlessly integrated into the cabin, the shape of the screens doesn’t provide much visibility to see what's behind you.
Audi has said you will be able to zoom the image in and out, however, so this could fix that issue and provide a wider view. Either way, the e-tron’s interior looks incredibly high tech. Additionally, there will be three viewing modes designed for different driving situations including highway, turning, and parking. Elsewhere, the cabin will feature digital displays for the instruments, infotainment, and HVAC controls, and there will also be an optional 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo. We should stress, however, that these virtual mirrors will be an option on the E-Tron and won’t be available in all markets since most countries don’t have regulations allowing them.
Japan is one of few countries that allows camera-based side mirrors, but Audi is trying to persuade major markets to permit them too. Originally, the Audi E-Tron was supposed to be unveiled in Brussels next month, but the recent arrest of the company’s CEO has delayed the SUV’s debut to an unspecified date. It will now be revealed in America, but Audi is adamant this setback won't delay the SUV’s market launch at the end of the year.