in copenhagen, a city full of bicycles, designboom exclusively experienced the imminent yet still unrevealed AUDI ‘e-tron. the SUV, which, for the first time, introduces full electrification to a production vehicle of the brand, is as quiet as the cyclists, letting its cabin space and sound take center stage. on our journey, we experienced how the interior, as well as the still mostly disguised exterior design, has created a unique, concert-like performance when driving.


all images courtesy of AUDI AG

 

 

there is only one place to start; the two electric engines are the core of the AUDI ‘e-tron’. one in the front and the other in the rear, they not only rumouredly fast charge in 30 minutes and offer around 250 miles in range per full battery, but, most importantly, create two new sound points while replacing the loud and low frequencies of a conventional combustion motor. even so, the two electric engines are isolated from the interior by a foam wraparound, whilst a frame, with 40% higher stiffness than normal, reduces the vibrations from the tires and road.


inside the royal danish playhouse with the electric SUV

 

 

this attention to minimize noise is highlighted with one of the vehicle’s most innovative features, which will be another first-of-a-kind for the production model. the virtual exterior mirrors is hugely advantageous by improving aerodynamics and thus reducing air noise. in terms of safety, the intelligent system adapts its self-cleaning camera lenses to focus and rely the most important information per scenario to the driver. this is displayed internally on OLED touch screens. all in all, the result is an almost completely silent, comfortable and calm cabin, where only a whistle of the engines and wind is audible.

 

 

in the closed room that is the interior, the design brings a new wave of emotion to the occupants. its performance highlights electrification with dynamically styled lines, similarly shaped lighting and contrasting materials; space is enlarged as the omission of a conventional engine frees up areas, especially the floating architecture of the middle console; focus for the driver is orientated with large screens and new MMI like in the Q8; and balance is created through the seamlessly sculpted cabin, such as the door handles that sources the octagonal form of the exterior grille.

 

 

the interior design, coupled with the external sound control, sets the stage for the acoustics. with an EV, music is much easier to control as it does not have to compete with the noise of a gas engine. the car features bang & olufsen’s premium sound system and an algorithm that focuses all 16 loudspeakers on creating 3D sound heard exactly as it was recorded. the result creates a magical moment, one that makes the passengers feel as if they are sitting surrounded by an orchestra. the advantageous of an EV have been further heightened, and, even before the official unveiling, we know the e-tron is anything but a compromise.

 


interior designer thomas pinel

 


designboom editor tim spears with the AUDI e-tron

 

 

 

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