Almost five centimeters (2.0 in) wider: the exterior design
The powerful and sporty design of the Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback is embedded into the brand’s progressive design language, with strong contours highlighting the wheels. Features such as the octagonal Singleframe, which is for the most part sealed and painted light gray, transport the design into the electric era. Four bars in the lower section of the headlights display the e-tron-specific daytime running light signature if the customer ordered the optional matrix LED headlights.
The two S models with electric drive reveal their dynamic potential at first glance. The front bumper features a striking design and the integrated air curtains are larger and more expressive. The wheel arches on both sides are a full 23 millimeters (0.9 in) wider and the diffuser insert in the rear bumper extends almost across the entire width of the rear end. Silver elements add highlights all over the car, from the lip of the front bumper and the Singleframe and all the way to the diffuser insert. The door inserts and housings of the exterior mirrors are made of aluminum, and the front and rear end are decorated with S badges. Audi can paint attachments like the front lip, wheel arches and sill trims in a contrasting color upon request.
Innovative solutions: aerodynamics
The striking design of the electric S models goes hand in hand with aerodynamics based firmly on new technologies. With the virtual exterior mirrors – cameras that transmit their images to OLED displays in the interior – the drag coefficients are just 0.26 for the Audi e-tron S Sportback and 0.28 for the Audi e-tron S.
The flow-optimized wheel arch trims at the front wheels are a further world innovation in large-scale vehicle construction. There are narrow horizontal strips in the cutouts in the front area. They guide the airstream cleanly around the wheels when driving straight ahead, thereby encapsulating interfering turbulence in the wheel arches. The design of the standard 20-inch wheels as well as the profile and embossing on the sides of the tires are also optimized in this regard. The flow-optimized wheel arch trims, for which Audi owns the patent, resolve the conflict of objectives between aerodynamics and a sporty look. They add roughly three kilometers (1.9 mi) of range, about the same as the virtual exterior mirrors.
An important element in the aerodynamics concept is the controllable cooling-air inlet with ducts to cool the front wheel brakes. It remains closed as often as possible in order to let the airstream flow over the hood with almost no turbulence. Last but not least, the fully covered underbody including the aluminum plate that protects the battery contribute significantly to increasing the aerodynamics.
The precision of a new era: the digital matrix LED headlights
The Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback can brighten up the night with digital matrix LED headlights as an option – the brand with the four rings introduced them in volume production as a world innovation at the end of 2019. They use a technology abbreviated as DMD (digital micromirror device) that is also used in video projectors: The light is divided into roughly 1.3 million tiny pixels and can thus be controlled with a new level of precision, which opens up many innovative functions.
The most important of these functions is the lane and orientation light for highways. Here, the headlights emit a carpet of light that is up to 50 meters (164.0 ft) long. It illuminates the driver’s own lane and adapts dynamically when changing lanes. Dark areas where there is no light show the exact position of the car in the lane. On narrow roads or on construction sites, the new light function helps the driver to stay in the center of the lane intuitively. In addition, the new technology can generate dynamic leaving home and coming home animations when locking and unlocking the car. They appear as projections on a wall or on the ground. This feature, where customers can choose from six variants, turns the space in front of the car into a well-lit stage.
All terms in blue in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices stated here refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.