The 2021 Audi e-tron electric SUV is coming and the German automaker has made a few interesting updates, including a new optional 22 kW onboard charger and a new steering wheel.
The Audi e-tron already had a good level 2 charging capacity with its 11 kW onboard charger, but the automaker has now decided to increase the capacity by offering a dual charger option.
It increases the capacity up to 22 kW:
“Fast charging with direct current (DC) has always been a major strength of the e-tron models. Now Audi is also enabling faster charging with alternating current (AC). Effective immediately, e-tron 55 and e-tron Sportback 55 customers can order a second on-board charger that doubles the power from 11 kW to as much as 22 kW at appropriate charging terminals.”
The newer e-tron 50 and e-tron S models will also get the new option, but it will come later in mid-2021.
Tesla used to offer a similar dual charger option on its Model S and Model X vehicles, but it discontinued the feature – claiming there were low demand and usage amongst owners.
Level 2 charging stations capable of 22 kW are fairly rare, but e-tron buyers who can have access to some on a regular basis can now choose this option and charge must faster without having to DC fast-charge.
With the new 2021 version of the e-tron, the electric SUV has now new intelligent charging features:
“In conjunction with a compatible home energy management system from SMA Solar Technology or the Hager Group, the e-tron charging system connect offers additional, intelligent functions. For example, the Audi e-tron can take account of the needs of other consumers in the household and charge with the remaining power available in order to avoid overloading the home electrical system. The charging system also allows customers to define individual priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive under a variable electricity rate. If the home is equipped with a photovoltaic system, the car can be charged preferentially using the electricity generated by the system. Charging planning then considers forecast periods of sunshine. Additional features of the e-tron charging system connect include PIN protection against unauthorized use and the recording of charging energy.”
Audi also updated the steering wheel in the new e-tron and e-tron Sports back.
The steering wheel’s sensors are now much more sensitive to the touch and therefore, it better detects hands on it for its driver-assist system:
“The updated steering wheels make driving even more convenient. The driver only has to lightly touch the touch-sensitive rim once per minute with his or her hand to ensure that the lateral guidance of the adaptive cruise assist remains active. The driver remains fully responsible for steering the vehicle, however. The high-end system, which uses data from the central driver assistance controller (zFAS), can keep the Audi e-tron centered in the lane. It also manages longitudinal guidance across the entire speed range. It supports the driver with accelerating, braking, maintaining speed, keeping distance and in traffic jam situations.”
Finally, with the 2021 version, Audi e-tron S buyers can now order 22-inch wheels:
“The Audi e-tron S and the Audi e-tron S Sportback come standard with 20-inch wheels, with 21-inch wheels available as an option. Audi Sport GmbH has now upped the ante – with 10.5Jx22 wheels and 285/35 series tires. The titanium gray wheels have a five-spoke structure and a gloss turned finish.”
Here’s a picture of the new 22-inch wheel for the Audi e-tron S:
As we previously reported, the Audi e-tron 2021 electric SUV also comes with a significantly lower price and 18 more miles of range.