Audi is still pretty much quiet about E-tron's performances, even though it is to be launched before the end of the year.

While the first few days of Geneva car show was reserved for indoor presentations of new cars, prototypes and facelifts, another interesting presentation was placed outside of Palexpo premises. All the buzz that was going one was about Audi's new E-tron, company's first fully electric car, that is about to hit the market this year. (Officially) seen for the first time in public it was still wrapped in clever masking which had a blurred 'e-tron' written within.

"Audi sets an important milestone for the company's future with its first purely electrically powered model," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. "In 2020 we will have three all-electric vehicles in our product range, with a four-door Gran Turismo – the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback concept – and a model in the compact segment joining the sporty SUV. We will be launching more than 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025 – spread across all segments and concepts."

Testing under extreme conditions

While the car is still in testing phase, there has already been 250 pre-production cars made. Audi is using them for rigorous test on four continents around the world. This includes driving on famous Nürburgring racetrack, Scandinavian roads, covered with snow, African heat, China's chaotic metropolises and American highways. In total, when test are over, cars will make some five million kilometers and 85.000 hours of driving.

As mentioned before, E-tron should hit the market by the end of the year, yet Audi is still quiet about its technical data. What we do know is that E-tron – once on the market – could be plugged to fast-charging station with an output of 150 kilowatts. In reality this means filling it up for 'another leg of the journey' will take around 30 minutes.

March 8, 2018 Driving photo: Audi

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