Audi’s first all-electric production model will offer a whole new experience within, not just with its generous space but also with what the company describes as ‘a high level of calm’. The full-size SUV will also provide a new digital operating and display experience as well as an optimum performance from the Bang & Olufsen 3D Premium Sound System
Visitors to the Royal Danish Playhouse in Copenhagen have had an opportunity to see the interior of the future model in a prototype that is displayed on the stage. Still wrapped in its camouflage, the 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 system. This system reproduces the music precisely as it was recorded – without any artificial effects – through 16 speakers and an amplifier with 705 watts of power.
The ‘stage’ in the interior of the Audi prototype forms a large arc, the wraparound. It envelopes the extensive instrument panel with pronounced horizontal lines as far round as the sculptural door trims. It also incorporates harmoniously the bonnet 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 car, 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 for different situations – for highway driving, for turning and for parking.
Another eye-catching feature in the interior is the centre tunnel console which rests on open sidewalls. The handrest 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, colours and inlays. 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 Audi e-tron will create a new sense of mobility; especially when driving in the city, the only sounds will be from its tyres and the gentle hum of the electric motors. Acoustic comfort has always been one of the strengths of Audi models and the e-tron is claimed to raise this level even further.