A fleeting glance reveals a purposeful face dominated by a large, hexagonal single-frame grille, and an expansive light strip across its rear end – both design features we’ve grown accustomed to seeing on Audi’s existing models. The more reserved mode adopted here will surely be motivated by a desire to coax more conservatively minded buyers into the all-electric SUV; a more outlandish one, though, might have given the E-tron more distinctive presence on the road.
That said, the E-tron’s form played a crucial part in allowing Audi’s aerodynamics engineers to achieve their targets. The car’s shape – combined with a completely flat underbody, trick alloys, a controllable cool-air inlet in the front grille and optional camera-based wing mirrors – sees the E-tron’s drag coefficient drop as low as 0.27. The Jaguar I-Pace manages a figure of 0.29 by comparison.
This all sits on an adapted version of the Volkswagen Group’s MLB Evo platform. At 4.9 metres long, the E-tron lies between the larger Q7 and smaller Q5 in terms of size, but at just 1.6m tall it’s lower than both.