A sketch preview of the Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept

Audi is teasing us with a batch of sketches of the e-tron Quattro close-to-production concept car. The experimental SUV is slated to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show that starts on 15 September.

The concept car will spawn an electric-powered SUV, clearly aimed to rival the upcoming Tesla Model X. It will also show us what Audi’s upcoming line of electric models will have to offer. Externally, the e-tron Quattro already looks like a standout from the German carmaker’s other recent additions, namely the Q7, accented with its ‘cat-eye’ OLED headlights and large grille.

What looks like an aerodynamic D-pillar and pronounced rear give the SUV a more sleek appearance compared to the Q7 and even the Q5; at least we hope the pictures are an accurate representative of the real thing. A retractable roof-mounted spoiler adds to the sporty look.

What readers might notice is that the side view mirrors are missing; instead, Audi has fitted the sides with fender-mounted cameras to reduce drag. Not a new idea (don’t mean to put you down, Audi) because Tesla did the same on an early prototype of the Model X, but put it back on later prototypes due to regulations. Tesla and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers tried to petition the NHTSA to let them use cameras in lieu of mirrors, which, according to them, would reduce the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag by up to 7%. The Alliance claims that a 10% decrease in drag could reduce fuel consumption by 3.2%.

But the e-tron Quattro is just a concept car so Audi can do whatever the hell they want.

There is a floating centre console inside because the car doesn’t have a driveshaft, eliminating the transmission tunnel. There are four OLED touch screens capable of hand gesture recognition to access navigation, connectivity and entertainment functions.

The all-electric drivetrain uses components from the same bin as the R8 e-tron. Sources reveal that the electric motors will deliver about 500hp and over 500 lb-ft of torque.

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