Audi is aiming to have a best-in-class drag coefficient with its upcoming all-electric crossover.
The Audi E-Tron Prototype is currently in development, and the German automaker says it delivers a 0.28 drag coefficient, which is best in the SUV segment. Currently the E-Tron can deliver 248.5 miles (400 kilometers) of driving range in the WLTP cycle, and aerodynamics help play a big role in that range. According to the German automaker, a hundredth of the drag coefficient figure results in a range of around 3.1 miles (five kilometers) under normal, everyday conditions.
So far, the E-Tron Prototype has spent over 1,000 hours testing in the Wind Tunnel Center in Ingolstadt, the world’s quietest vehicle wind tunnel. With an output of 2.6 megawatts, the fan produces speeds of up to 186.4 mph (300 km/h), which is crucial for optimizing a car’s drag and noise under extreme conditions.
Through its development, Audi has created new optional virtual exterior mirrors, which are making their world premiere in the production version of the E-Tron. Compared to standard side mirrors, these new units are narrower, helping reduce the width of the vehicle by 5.9 inches (15 centimeters). The new shape not only reduces drag, but also assist in cutting low wind noise.
But what makes them special is that each flat support has an integrated small camera, with the captured images appearing on OLED displays found in the transition between the instrument panel and door. Audi says the virtual exterior mirrors can be adapted for various driving situations with three views available in the MMI system: highway driving, turning, and parking.
Audi previewed the upcoming E-Tron earlier this year at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and is scheduled to arrive dealerships early next year.
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