Audi Shows Production E-Tron’s Virtual Mirrors In Action

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.


  • PK

    if this goes in production. the next thing you know is when it breaks and it’ll cost thousands of $$$$. what can go wrong?

  • Ermal Morina

    What are the benefits of having those instead of regular mirrors,distraction maybe??

    • Adi

      Better drag coefficient and less wind noise.

      • Spyder Hole Fantome

        More “dumb tech” just bc we can. No thanks.

        • Silimarina

          How is this dumb if it has function?

          • Spyder Hole Fantome

            Ok then… Why even have glass windows when you could just use cameras and screens? Just sit in a metal dome on wheels. Those cameras and screens would have a function too, right? So I assume your be 100% on board with such “progress”?

          • Shtekeris

            Also worth mentioning, these new cars could potentially be veeeery hard to live with after they are 10 years old. Soo much tech in these new premium vehicles, so much to go wrong.

            Also, will thieves now steel mirror cameras and they will be even more expensive to replace?

          • Status

            Why would they steal them if the can only be used on newer Audi’s with the internal screens? It’s not like stealing the Audi’s rims and fitting them to a Ford because they both have the same bolt pattern.

          • Silimarina

            A camera like on this Audi will be much harder to steal compared to a mirror, plus it’s a small camera.How much more would it cost?The camera in a Iphone for example cost 30$.A mirror with electric adjustments and heating cost well over 100$

          • Status

            Nope. Glass has transmittive values of daylight, which you can’t get from a screen. You can also alter the DLO of a car simply by putting the window down.

            Still, this technology from Audi is great.

          • Silimarina

            Because what you say with cameras and screens instead of glass windows will not add any new benefits, like this tech can( better drag, less wind noise,etc.) it will only add cost

          • Dude

            Don’t be dumb. The function is reducing drag and noise. Changing windows to screens wouldn’t do that.

      • Spyder Hole Fantome

        As if those mirrors create that much drag. Come-on man!!!

    • Silimarina

      What Adi said + less/no motors for miror adjustment, probably better field of view and when it rains the mirror and the front side windows will have water droplets that make it harder to spot cars, objects etc.

      • (⌐■_■)

        just use double panel glass? water droplets can get on the camera lens too.

    • Status

      Greater field of view. Digital filtering of glare and haze.

      • brn

        Digital filtering of glare and haze? You picked the two areas where optical filtering if far superior to digital filtering. Don’t need a camera for optical filtering.

        • Status

          Let me know when you find a car with proprietary lenses in their side mirrors.

          • brn

            No need for lenses, just filters or maybe even glass treatment.

            To your point, I’m not aware of any. I believe you can get polarized windscreens though.

  • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

    What’s the point… when Audi drivers don’t even use them?

  • Enter Ranting

    Needless expense and complexity. More distracting screens. The pointless gimmicks at Audi continue unabated, desperately trying to distract from their bland styling.

    • Status

      I’m sure people said the same of electrically powered windows and pneumatic windows before that; that there were needlessly complex and expensive.

      …and yet, here we are today, where you can’t find a car without power windows, and the reliability is better now then ever before.

      Besides, Audi is promoting themselves as a technological leader. If they wanted to promote themselves as being stuck in the past and never offering anything new for fear of it breaking down, they’d emulate Lincoln and Cadillac.

  • caddy45

    That is so cool. Much needed tech progress for the automotive industry.

  • D3X

    I think they are in the wrong position and the wrong angle, honestly. Below the field of view which is completely unnatural to look down. I mean if they positioned it up into the A-pillar on an Angle, and made it appear familiar in a way to a regular mirror, I can totally see it working. Right now, I think it’s awkward, and a hog-podge job by putting a screen where a speaker is supposed to be.
    I know a lot of people are also circling the issue of breaking electronics and what not, but I mean we’re have mini-computers in our pockets, our cars have super-computers onboard, and it’s almost the year 2020.

  • D3X

    Took a screen capture of what Audi doesn’t want you to see in that video…
    and a better location of the screen.

  • Big Black Duck

    10 years from now Merc will introduce this and everyone will talk like they invented it…

    • brn

      Mercury is making a comeback?

      • Big Black Duck


      • TheHake

        The whole world refers to Mercedes as Merc.

        • brn

          Merc has always been split between the two.

          MB or Benz belongs to Mercedes Benz.

      • Status

        Merc means Mercedes. Trash means Mercury.

  • TheHake

    What an AWESOME video. NOT!

  • Marty

    It’s like they WANT people to think this is a bad idea.
    Cameras instead of mirrors are a good idea if it is done right (which it will eventually be), but this is a half-baked solution.

  • Status

    I don’t see Cadillac or Lincoln coming out with anything like these side mirrors. Admittedly, Cadillac has a digital rear-view mirror somewhere, but for many, many, MANY decades, Cadillac and Lincoln prided themselves on being traditional instead of being on the cutting edge.

    ….and all they had to show for it were horrible cars like the Fleetwood and the TownCar. Ponderous and bloated cars who were never got in the hands of the millionaires of the tech world and ultimately found their way into driveways of carpet store owners.

    Bluntly tech sells, and over-selling the tradition angle makes an automaker look like it has nothing good to offer.

    • Enter Ranting

      Yep, Audi relies on people who value gimmicks over reliability.

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