The Germany-based automaker says its first all-electric utility vehicle paves the way for a new wave of battery-powered models. The full-size, high-performance Audi e-tron marks the start of a “new era” for the automaker, deriving high performance and agility from powerful front and rear electric motors energized by a large, high-voltage battery that facilitates sub six-second acceleration and a 250-mile driving range that is free of emissions and “almost silent.” Audi attributes up to 30 percent of that range to a new kinetic-energy recuperation system (regenerative braking). Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system was redesigned for electrification; “it continuously and variably regulates the ideal distribution of drive between the two axles, within a fraction of a second.”

The new e-tron utility vehicle has a claimed maximum range of 250 miles and can be pre-ordered now. PHOTO: AUDI

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