It seems to be normal to launch a new car in segments. Drip feed info then arrange a passenger experience in an unusual place to demonstrate a particular ability of a new car.
In Audi’s case, they chose the road down from Pikes Peak to demonstrate the incredible ability of the car to charge its batteries using their new regenerative system. Dropping 8000 feet from a mountain top, which often accounts for overheated brakes on a normal car, the road down was a chance to show how well the system works and how it acts as an added safety feature in just such a situation.
Based on the Q5, the e-tron, except for the compulsory black and white wrap, would not stand out from the crowd. It isn’t meant to be an ipace or a Tesla or even an i3.
The e-tron has a target audience of the electric car driver who desperately does not want to be noticed.
That’s Audi for you.
Underneath the Grey Man exterior, it is brimming with latest tech for the e-car sector, including the latest fast charge flexible batteries, full four wheel drive with multiple drive options, blistering performance should you chose and safety of the very highest order.
During the decent the brakes were rarely needed. The Audi branded “recuperation” system added 10% charge to the batteries, taking them from 45% to 55% charged. At the same time as heating the cab, running the lights and also operating all the additional on-board testing equipment that the development cars are carrying.
Whilst the regeneration can account for up to 30% of the cars range, Audi also give you the choice of the e-tron free wheeling to save energy. In reality, it will depend on your journey type, average speed and gradients to find the ideal set up for your driving.
At the bottom of the mountain as the e-tron arrived in the bustling town, an e-tron was parked up without the wrap and orange skirt. Not one person came over to photograph it or look a little more closely. Job done.