The full-size SUV Audi e-tron features a new digital operating and display experience. It is the first volume-production car with virtual exterior mirrors. Driver and passengers experience their surroundings in a whole new dimension in the Audi e-tron prototype. In addition to its generous space and the stylishly reduced design, Audi’s first electric car offers a high level of calm and, in turn, the perfect stage for the Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System.
Still wrapped in its specific e-tron camouflage, the Audi e-tron prototype demonstrates its versatile interior design to the public – with the lightness of a ballet dancer, the intelligence of a character actor and the performance of an opera singer. Like a concert hall, the electric SUV also offers a pure sound experience, pampering its driver and the passengers as an option with the 3D sound of the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System. This system reproduces the music precisely how it was recorded – without any artificial effects. All thanks to 16 loudspeakers and an amplifier delivering up to 705 watts of power.
Cubist design language and virtual exterior mirrors: the interior design
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 sculptural door trims. It incorporates harmoniously 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 digitization to a whole new level.
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. 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 center 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.
In every equipment line, the interior of the Audi e-tron prototype presents carefully coordinated upholstery materials, colors and inlays. Whether refined Valcona leather or dark brushed aluminum for a sporty look, the electric SUV meets the highest quality standards in terms of craftsmanship and choice of materials. 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 subtly and traces precisely the interior’s basic lines. The e-tron badge in the instrument panel is also backlit.
With its long wheelbase of 2,928 millimeters (9.6 ft), the Audi e-tron prototype has ample space for five occupants and their bags. 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. In the rear, a flat plateau – instead of the center tunnel usually found in conventional models – creates additional space.
With its combination of electric drive and a comfortable, sophisticated interior, the Audi e-tron prototype creates a new sense of mobility. Especially when driving in the city, it radiates an almost perfect sense of calm. The only sounds are from its tires and the gentle hum of the electric motors. The 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 85 km/h (52.8 mph), barely gets through to the occupants. As such, the passengers can talk to each other comfortably even at high speeds.