The Audi e-tron Produces Up To 402 Horsepower – But There's A Catch

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Ahead of its official reveal in September, Audi has released technical specifications for the electric e-tron SUV.

The long-awaited reveal of the Audi e-tron was originally supposed to happen in just a few weeks on August 20, but the event has been pushed back until September 17 after Audi's CEO was put behind bars for tampering with evidence relating to the VW Dieselgate scandal. With the reveal date now set, Audi has released the all-important technical specifications for its first-ever electric SUV. Two electric motors combine to produce an output of 355 horsepower 414 lb-ft of torque. These motors can deliver this peak performance for up to 60 seconds, enabling the e-tron to accelerate from a standstill to an electronically limited top speed 124.3 mph several times without a loss of power.

There's also a boost mode, activated by shifting the gear lever from D to S and fully depressing the accelerator pedal, that increases the output up to 402 hp and 490 lb-ft of torque, but it's only available for eight seconds. According to Audi, 0-62 mph takes less than six seconds.

But EV buyers are more likely to be concerned with range than performance. As such, Audi claims the e-tron will deliver a driving range of more than 248.5 miles on a single charge based on the WLTP test cycle. This doesn't offer much of an advantage over its key competitors, the Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace, that offer similar ranges, but Audi is hoping the e-tron's innovative recuperation system will make up for this by being more efficient than its competitors.

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The recuperation system contributes up to 30 percent of the electric SUV's range and uses the two electric motors and an electrohydraulically integrated brake control system. Three different recuperation modes are combined: manual coasting recuperation using the shift paddles, automatic coasting recuperation via the predictive efficiency assist, and brake recuperation with smooth transition between electric and hydraulic deceleration.

To demonstrate how this works, Audi tested the e-tron prototype's recuperation system at Pikes Peak where the SUV went downhill for 19 miles and fed "so much energy back to the battery that it can cover approximately the same distance again." The Audi e-tron prototype recuperates energy with up to 221.3 lb-ft of torque and 220 kW of electric power – more than 70 percent of its operating energy input, which "no series production model has achieved such a value up to now" according to Audi.

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