--
 
New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Virtual door mirrors? Audi pushing the boundaries of electric cars with new E-tron prototype

2018-07-05 08:34

Image: A sound investment from AudiThe Royal Opera House in Copenhagen set the stage for a first look into the interior of the Audi e-tron prototype, the first ever fully electric series production model from Audi.

Familiarity breeds content in the interior of the Audi e-tron prototype.

While newly released pictures of the precursor to the first fully electric Audi show that it will push boundaries with its pioneering camera-based virtual door mirror option and new digital operating and display concept.

Technology makes things easy

When sound is desirable, the space is so thoroughly insulated from the outside world that it also provides the perfect stage for the Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System upgrade.

Big stage for the Audi e-tron prototype

The Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen set the stage for the first glimpse into the Audi e-tron prototype. Where actors and performers normally appear in front of an audience of up to 650 people, the bright spotlight was instead focused on the all-electric full-size SUV, still wrapped in its e-tron camouflage.

READ: Audi's E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo becomes reality

Like a concert hall, the electric SUV offers a pure sound experience courtesy of the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System, which reproduces the music precisely how it was recorded through 16 loudspeakers and an amplifier delivering up to 705w of power.

Cubist design language and virtual exterior mirror

The stage in the interior of the Audi e-tron prototype forms a large arc, the wraparound. It envelops the extensive instrument panel with pronounced horizontal lines as far round as the sculpted door trims.

It harmoniously incorporates the hood above the standard Audi virtual cockpit whose sleek display stands visually free in the space, as well as the displays of the optional virtual exterior mirrors.

These mirrors will be making their world premiere in the volume-production version of the Audi e-tron prototype, taking in-car digitisation to a whole new level.

                                                                       Image: Newspress

The virtual exterior mirrors not only provide a new technology experience, but also many practical benefits in terms of comfort and safety. Their flat support integrates a small camera whose image is digitally processed and shown on high-contrast 7-inch OLED displays in the interior.

The driver can enter different settings using the touchscreen function. The image detail can be moved, providing the required field of vision, while the user can also zoom in and out of the image.

                                                                     Image: Newspress

The driver can choose from three views in the MMI system for different situations – for highway driving, for turning and for parking.

Another eye-catching feature in the interior is the centre tunnel console which rests on open sidewalls. The hand rest with integrated gear change lever appears to float above the console. Lightness and performance are fused into one. The entire driver’s area is focused squarely on the driver.

Electrification brought to life

In every equipment line, the interior of the Audi e-tron prototype presents carefully coordinated upholstery materials, colours and inlays. From its refined Valcona leather to its dark brushed aluminium, the electric SUV meets the highest quality standards in terms of craftsmanship and choice of materials.

                                                                            Image: Newspress

The stitching on the seats creates a motif reminiscent of electric circuit boards. As an option, contrasting stitching and piping in orange stand out brightly – taking their cue from the high-voltage electrical system.

The optional contour/ambient lighting package illuminates the surfaces and precisely yet subtly traces the interior’s basic lines. The e-tron badge in the instrument panel is also backlit.

Ample space for five occupants

With its long wheelbase of 2 928mm, the Audi e-tron prototype has ample space for five occupants and their luggage. Interior length, head room in front and rear as well as knee room in the second seat row are top-class in the full-size SUV segment.

                                                                        Image: Newspress

In the rear, a flat plateau – instead of the centre tunnel usually found in conventional models – creates additional space.

The sense of calm onboard

With its combination of electric drive and a comfortable, sophisticated interior, the Audi e-tron prototype creates a new sense of mobility.

When driving in the city in particular, it radiates an almost perfect sense of calm. The only sounds are from its tyres and the gentle hum of the electric motors.

                                                                             Image: Newspress

Acoustic comfort is one of the strengths of all Audi models. The Audi e-tron prototype raises this level even further, thus offering outstanding long-distance comfort. Its body has special soundproofing and sealing in all zones that could transmit noise interference.

The wind noise, which dominates the acoustic perception at speeds from around 52mph, barely gets through to the occupants. As such, passengers can talk to each other comfortably even at high speeds.

NEXT ON WHEELS24X

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.