Audi’s first all-electric SUV needs to conquer all terrains, and so the automaker took the latest e-tron prototype to Pikes Peak. This wasn’t some high-speed hill climb, however. Instead, the direction of travel was reversed, with the e-tron showing off its fiendishly complex recuperation system.
That relies on a whole host of smarts to make the most of power generated by the electric motors while the SUV is slowing. In particular, it’s about striking the right balance between coasting and actively slowing, to maximize range. Audi will allow drivers to manually adjust between three levels of recuperation, by flicking the paddle shifters behind the wheel.
However, there’ll also be an auto mode, which will take into account driving style, the traffic on the road ahead, and the nature of the route to switch between the regenerative braking and Audi’s new hydraulic brakes intelligently. The automaker says it’s one of the most efficient systems on the market. We’ll find out for sure when the 2020 e-tron goes on sale.