- Audi South Africa plans to launch the e-tron GT in South Africa by the end of February 2022.
- e-tron models can receive software updates to ensure maximum battery life and range.
- Audi plans to stop building petrol and diesel engine vehicles by the year 2033.
- For motoring news, go to Wheels24
Audi South Africa will be making its foray into the electric vehicle (EV) space in the first quarter of 2022 with the official launch of the e-tron in South Africa in various configurations and body styles.
The e-tron line-up was initially due for local introduction this year; however, stock challenges and industry logistics hiccups due to the global semiconductor chip crisis meant that local EV fans had to wait a little longer to experience the electric rush that Ingolstadt has offered for some time already.
The Audi e-tron was launched in 2019 in limited numbers in particular markets in SUV body style. Later on, a Sportback version of the SUV followed. The Q4 e-tron and e-tron GT followed these, and now the company is ready to roll its EVs out to more markets worldwide.
Earlier this month, Audi surprised its United Kingdom-based e-tron owners by offering a quick software update that increased their vehicles' driving range from a full charge of its battery.
Wheels24 currently has the e-tron on test for a couple of days, look out for more info on this new SA-bound vehicle soon...
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Range boost without the need for mechanical upgrades
Owners of the Audi e-tron from the 2019 or 2020 model years can now travel farther on a single charge by up to 20 additional kilometres. This means that Audi isn't limiting efficiency increases to new models but also boosting the efficiency of cars already on the road, something that's easier to do these days thanks to the electrification of vehicles and the interconnected nature of new-generation vehicles.
The mileage update is now available to UK customers and can be installed free of charge at Audi service centres. Effective immediately, the software features behind this efficiency enhancement expand the usable capacity of the high-voltage battery. As a result, the 95kWh battery in the Audi e-tron 55 quattro delivers more net usable power – 86kWh capacity, which translates into an increased range.
More than just a range boosting upgrade
In the UK, 1655 e-tron vehicles are compatible with the update, including a complimentary health check. In addition to the battery capacity, the new software also optimises the control of the front electric motor. In normal driving mode, the motor attached to the rear axle is responsible for propulsion.
For improved efficiency, the front electric motor is now almost wholly disconnected and powered off – and only when more power is needed do both motors come into play. This makes it possible to exploit the significant advantage of the asynchronous motor concept even more effectively by taking advantage of currentless operation without electrical drag losses.
The software update also improves cooling. The highly flexible thermal management system, which consists of four separate circuits, regulates the temperature of the high-voltage components even more efficiently. Modifying the control system made it possible to reduce the volume flow rates in the coolant circuit, thus reducing energy consumption. The cooling system is the basis for fast DC charging, long battery life, and consistent driving performance, even under high loads.
e-tron setting the tone for the future of motoring
The first fully electric Audi e-tron has been manufactured at the company's net-zero carbon-neutral site in Brussels since the end of 2018. By the end of 2021, the e-tron will achieve 100 000 units sold. In Norway, the model was even the best-selling car across all drive types last year.
Significant growth in deliveries of all-electric Audi models justifies the company's apparent move towards e-mobility. By the end of September, Audi had supplied 52 774 all-electric vehicles to customers globally and achieved an increase of 51.4 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year (2020: 34,850).
As early as 2026, new models launched to the market by Audi will be all-electric exclusively. In 2033 production of the last models with internal combustion engines will cease.
"At Audi, we deliver progress through technology – and there's no clearer demonstration of that than the free software and range update we've just launched for our existing e-tron 55 quattro customers," says Andrew Doyle, director of Audi in the UK. "As we shift our focus to the world of electric vehicles, we're channelling our pioneering spirit and world-renowned technological expertise into the reinvention of our company as a leading light in the field of sustainable mobility."
Wheels24 will bring you the latest news on the e-tron's local introduction in the coming months, so be sure to subscribe to our free weekly newsletter to stay updated on the latest electric vehicle news in South Africa.
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