Range anxiety is becoming less and less of an issue as EV technology progresses. Advancements are being made at a rapid pace and Audi is a representative example since it’s already improving the E-Tron’s range. Even though the electric SUV made its debut in production guise a little over a year ago, the engineers have found a way to extract an additional 15.5 miles of range to bring the grand total to 270.9 miles.
While that might not be a huge improvement, we believe every extra mile counts, especially since Audi isn’t jacking up the starting price of the vehicle. It’s worth mentioning the update is being applied to the E-Tron 55 Quattro version sold in Europe, therefore the range is based on the WLTP cycle. In the UK, the model kicks off at £71,560 and is offered alongside a lesser E-Tron 50 Quattro if you’re willing to settle for 186 miles of range.
How was Audi able to increase range of the more expensive E-Tron by nearly 16 miles? By developing a new wheel brake reducing residual brake torque, which refers to the losses caused by the fact the brake calipers are located next to the brake discs. The engineers have also improved the drivetrain by deactivating the front electric motor almost entirely when the SUV is in the normal driving mode. The front-mounted motor is disconnected from the electricity supply and kicks in only when the driver needs more power.
Another significant change implemented to the E-Tron 55 Quattro variant has to do with the 95-kWh battery pack as the usable range of the battery has now increased to a net power figure of 86.5 kWh. In addition, Audi has optimised cooling furthermore to regulate temperature of the high-voltage components in a more efficient way.
One other major tweak is represented by the upgraded recuperation function, which is a big deal considering Audi says it contributes to as much as 30% of overall range. It kicks in whenever the driver releases the accelerator pedal (coasting recuperation) or when the brake pedal is depressed (braking recuperation). The former can be adjusted through one of the three selectable stages and Audi says there are now bigger differences between them and the one-pedal driving technique is more accessible than ever.
The Euro-spec Audi E-Tron is also getting an optional S Line exterior package with a sport air suspension and 20-inch alloy wheels. The kit consists of a slightly more aggressive body kit with bigger air curtains improving airflow at the front, along with a new spoiler and diffuser at the back further boosting aero. All the newly added parts that come with the S Line kit are finished in the same colour as the rest of the body.
Audi is already taking orders in Europe for the revised E-Tron.
Gallery: Audi e-tron, official photos
Better efficiency and longer range: technical update for the Audi e-tron
Just in time for the premiere of the e-tron Sportback**, Audi is introducing a standard technical update for its first electric product line. This combines optimized drive system hardware with software adjustments to improve efficiency. As a result, all versions of the e-tron SUV will come off the assembly line with an extra 25 kilometers (15.5 mi) or so of range. The new models are available now to customers in Europe.