The Audi e-tron prototype combines enormous power and high efficiency. With a system output of up to 300 kW, the full-size SUV with a fully electric drive accelerates from 0-62mph in less than six seconds. In the WLTP test cycle, it covers more than 248 miles on one battery charge. One important factor for the long range is the most innovative recuperation concept among the competitors. The electric SUV proved this with an impressive performance at Pikes Peak.
The scenario: Each km downhill brings around an additional km in range
At 4,302 metres (14,115 ft), Pikes Peak looms high in the southern Rocky Mountains. Where Walter Röhrl won the world’s most famous hill climb in the Audi Sport Quattro S1 back in 1987, it is the Audi e-tron prototype that is now causing a sensation with its recuperation system that is variable and thus the most efficient among all the competitors. On its 31-kilometre (19-mile) downhill drive, the electric SUV feeds so much energy back to the battery that it can cover approximately the same distance again.
The difference in altitude of about 1,900 metres (6,233.6 ft) provides the necessary conditions for this. The Audi e-tron prototype recuperates energy with up to 300 Nm of torque (221.3 lb-ft) and 220 kW of electric power – more than 70 per cent of its operating energy input. No series production model has achieved such a value up to now.
The driver can select the degree of coasting recuperation in three stages using the steering wheel paddles. At the lowest stage, the vehicle coasts with no additional drag torque when the driver releases the accelerator pedal. At the highest stage, the electric SUV reduces the speed noticeably – the driver can slow down and accelerate using only the accelerator pedal. This creates the one-pedal feeling. There is no need to use the brake pedal in this deceleration scenario.