Up to 402 horsepower available, but only for eight seconds.

Now we know why the Audi E-Tron was spotted just a few days ago undergoing final testing in Colorado ahead of its official debut scheduled to take place on September 17. It was at Pikes Peak to conduct an energy recuperation test to demonstrate the electric SUV’s recuperation system can extend overall range by as much as 30 percent. For each kilometer (0.6 miles) driven downhill, the E-Tron was able to gain an extra kilometer of range.

How was this achieved? The zero-emissions SUV combines three different recuperation modes to recharge the battery pack as often as possible. There’s the usual brake energy recuperation, the automatic coasting recuperation thanks to predictive driving tech, and even manual coasting recuperation using the shift paddles.

Discover the E-Tron's mirror-replacing side cameras:

Aside from detailing the energy recuperation system, Audi is also talking about the other juicy technical specifications people have been dying to find out. At the heart of the E-Tron are two electric motors providing a combined output of 355 horsepower (265 kilowatts) and an instant torque of 414 pound-feet (561 Newton-meters). Should that not be enough, there’s a boost mode available for eight seconds during which the driver can unlock the full power: 402 hp (300 kW) and 490 lb-ft (664 Nm).

It’s enough electric punch for a run to 62 mph (100 kph) in less than six seconds before hitting an electronically governed top speed of 124 mph (200 kph).

Being an electric vehicle first and foremost, range is what people will mostly care about. You’ll be happy to hear the Audi E-Tron will have enough juice from its 95-kWh battery pack for more than 248.5 miles (400 kilometers) between charges. The good news is this number is not based on the outgoing NEDC test cycle but on the new and far more stringent Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

A more stylish take on the E-Tron will be launched next year when Audi is going to introduce the E-Tron Sportback. Ingolstadt’s family of EVs will eventually grow to include an E-Tron GT sedan to fight the Tesla Model S and perhaps even a supercar to be previewed by a concept this month at Pebble Beach.

Source: Audi

Gallery: Audi E-Tron prototype at Pikes Peak

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Take charge: Audi e-tron prototype – recuperation test

  • Highly efficient: up to 30 percent more range thanks to energy recuperation
  • World premiere in electric cars: the electrohydraulically integrated brake control system
  • Strong performance: up to 300 kW and from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in less than six seconds 

The Audi e-tron prototype combines enormous power and high efficiency. With a system output of up to 300 kW, the full-size SUV with a fully electric drive accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in less than six seconds. In the WLTP test cycle, it covers more than 400 kilometers (248.5 mi) on one battery charge. One important factor for the long range is the most innovative recuperation concept among the competitors. The electric SUV proved this with an impressive performance at Pikes Peak.