The 1,600km drive from Slovenia to the Netherlands tested the charging capabilities, brake recuperation as well as the aerodynamics of the Audi e-tron.
On 20 August, nine journalists set out on a tour stretching over 1,600km from Lake Bled in Slovenia to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The Audi e-tron electric SUV, with its long range and short charging stops, proved to be a compelling proposition. Combined with its powerful drive and comfortable interior, it turned electric touring into a premium experience.
The Audi e-tron's lithium-ion battery allows charging of up to 80% capacity within 30 minutes, saving time on long journeys Lake Bled lies idyllically on the edge of the Pokljukaplateau in northern Slovenia. Here, three Audi e-tron 55 quattro models, each with three journalists onboard, set off on a particular challenge - to cross 10 European countries in 24 hours.
The 1,600km tour took them through Austria, Italy, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. On stages where the topography could have hardly been more different, the Audi e-tron showed just how suitable for long journeys the first electric car from the brand with the four rings is.
Thanks to direct current charging at high power charging stations, the lithium-ion battery of the Audi e-tron reaches 80% of its capacity in just under 30 minutes - fundamentally saving time on long stages.
The basis for the high charging speed is the complex thermal management, which also ensures a long battery service life combined with consistently excellent performance, even under high load. All seven charging stops on the tour were completed at this type of fast-charging station.
The e-tron's regenerative braking and dynamic handling was crucial in ensuring a quick passage through the Alps Audi's proprietary charging service currently covers around 100,000 charging points altogether in 19 EU countries - with numbers still growing.
The customer simply needs a single card to start the charging process at these charging points, and billing is automatic via the user's account.
No physical means of payment is used, while standardised, country-specific prices mean that you can travel freely and easily without having to constantly compare prices.
Thanks to the different route profiles, the Audi e-tron 55 quattro also managed to demonstrate its dynamic handling strengths. In the Alps, it made full use of its maximum 396bhp and 664Nm of torque on the uphill climbs, while on downhill sections it reaped the benefits of its superior recuperation that allowed it to recover up to 220kW when braking and convert it into electricity - a benchmark figure among the competition.
Ambient lighting transforms the interior into a lounge for relaxing night driving The electric all-wheel drive also delivered optimum traction and dynamism on the winding stretches in South Tyrol. This system ensures the continuous and fully variable regulation of the ideal distribution of drive torque between the two axles within a fraction of a second.
Meanwhile, on the flat stages along the Rhine, in Belgium, and the Netherlands, traveling at constant speeds allowed the sophisticated aerodynamics and low drag coefficient of 0.27 to contribute substantially to the low energy consumption.
Over the entire tour, the electric powered SUV put on a brilliant performance with its outstanding ride and noise comfort, which is also on a par with vehicles in the class above.
So too is the amount of space, which is increased in the foot area in the rear thanks to the drivetrain configuration. Leather seats with massage function, an ionizer for first-class air quality and the ambient lighting, which transformed the interior on the night stages into a feel-good lounge, added the finishing touches to the outstanding long-distance qualities.