The Audi E-Tron crossover won’t just be the automaker’s first all-electric production vehicle for the masses but it will also be the first production vehicle to feature cameras instead of wing mirrors.
Dubbed the Audi Virtual Mirror, the German automaker’s setup consists of two small cameras on stalks where you’d usually find mirrors. Images captured by these cameras are fed instantly to two small touch displays near the door handles.
Automakers have been playing with this idea on concept cars for over a decade but until now, regulations haven’t permitted the use of such cameras for road cars. The use of these virtual mirrors will allow Audi to improve the co-efficient of drag of the electric crossover, helping to boost the vehicle’s all-important range.
The days of traditional wing mirrors may be coming to an end.
Beyond these new mirrors and screens, the interior of the Audi E-Tron is made distinct from other Audi models thanks to a bespoke dashboard that incorporates two touchscreens to control almost all vehicle functions. Additionally, the Audi Virtual Cockpit has been installed where you’d expect to find analog gauges.
Powering the Audi E-Tron will be a 95 kWh battery pack, one electric motor at the front axle and two electric motors at the rear. All up, 429 hp will be on offer and the crossover has a WLTP-rated range of 248.5 miles (400 km).
Audi had intended on unveiling the E-Tron at the Audi Summit in Brussels on August 30. However, the vehicle’s premiere has been delayed following the arrest of company chief executive Rupert Stadler.