Audi is redoubling its efforts to streamline the process of switching to its fully electric e-tron SUV and e-tron Sportback models at every level, and this includes the all-important pre-ordering selection stage, which has just been further simplified. Specification structures have been brought into line for the 50 and 55 versions of the e-tron SUV, and they now include newly introduced Black Edition and Vorsprung options that offer a direct, one-stop route to the most sought-after items of equipment favouring visual impact, technological sophistication and luxury.
The range-topping Vorsprung specification also becomes available for the e-tron Sportback, and in both applications includes the latest digital matrix LED lighting technology. The digital element in the cabin across all trim lines has also been enhanced by an upgrade to the new third generation modular infotainment platform or MIB 3, which offers ten times more processing power than its predecessor and facilitates new capabilities such as wireless connection to the Audi Smartphone Interface.
The first all-electric Audi – the e-tron SUV – is available in 50 quattro form with a WLTP-certified range of up to 195 miles, or with a larger battery as the 55 quattro capable of travelling for up to 247 miles between charges. Each of these options can now be combined with a choice of five trim lines – Technik, Sport, S line and the new additions Black Edition and Vorsprung.
All include features such as alloy wheels of at least 20 inches in diameter, adaptive air suspension, LED lighting, the Audi Virtual Cockpit and the touch-screen MMI Touch system with its dual monitors. The MMI system can be controlled either by a fingertip or via voice control, and has been further enhanced for this latest generation model through the integration of the considerably more powerful, third generation MIB 3 modular infotainment platform. It can now access speech recognition software in the cloud during its formulation of responses to spoken commands for even more accurate comprehension and feedback. Phone book contacts can also be accessed vocally, as can a radio station or a track from the media library, and the system can now produce text messages via dictation. Even the climate control now responds to the spoken word.
Lane-by-lane traffic information
Thanks to the more sophisticated MIB 3 processor, the navigation system itself becomes more intelligent as well. It has the ability to learn the driver’s habits, meaning that during route planning it can make suggestions based on previously-driven routes, taking into account the time and traffic congestion, and can even now provide lane-by-lane information on traffic flow. Routes are calculated online on the servers of the service provider HERE, which uses data from the overall traffic situation. In the interest of optimal route guidance accuracy free over-the-air map updates are also now available to e-tron drivers on a monthly basis.
Drivers of all versions of the e-tron also have the option to display and control navigation and infotainment apps from a smartphone on the central MMI monitor using the standard Audi Smartphone Interface, and as an additional benefit of the upgrade to MIB 3 connection can now take place wirelessly.
The starting point for the new Black Edition specification in the e-tron SUV is the S line with its dedicated S line exterior styling treatment, privacy glass, matrix LED headlamps and LED rear lamps. Both models sit lower on sport air suspension, their arches amply filled by 21-inch Audi Sport wheels, but the Black Edition is distinguishable by its gloss anthracite black wheel design, which coordinates with the Singleframe, front and rear bumper inserts, window trims, roof rails and door mirror surrounds, all of which are also finished in black.
Inside, both feature S line detailing and offer the additional support of front sport seats with powered lumbar adjustment. Synthetic Twin leather also covers the upper section of their dashboards, door armrests and lower centre console as part of the extended Twin leather pack, complementing the supple Valcona leather seat upholstery…