The scene looked like it was taken straight from a scientist’s lair that would do Nikola Tesla himself proud. Inside a Siemens facility in the heart of Berlin, Audi AG revealed their new Audi E-Tron prototype in spectacular fashion, making it the target of a man-made lightning strike. The dazzling light show aside, is this car really electrifying? And what clues does it give us about future vehicles at Audi Valencia?

The E-Tron name currently graces hybrid versions of new Audi vehicles, like the Audi A3 E-Tron Sportback. This prototype, however, points to some changes on the road ahead. For one thing, it’s all-electric. Fo r another, it has no analog in the current Audi vehicle lineup, suggesting that this could be the start of a new model class for the brand.

It’s not easy to make out the looks of the Audi E-Tron, since the prototype is wrapped in test camo (now with a bit of scorching where the lightning struck). While it has the distinctive silhouette we’d expect from the Audi brand, its looks are the least interesting thing going on here.

That’s because the design shows the results of many years’ worth of refinement. The 95 kWh battery pack, which sits beneath the floor, arranges 36 individual storage cells in a reinforced aluminum shell that protects the pack while also keeping it separate from an advanced cooling system. The company plans to provide two chargers for home use, and is collaborating with a number of its competitors to build out a charging network in Europe, and to lay the groundwork for a similar standardized network here in the United States. It’s all part of a seven-year plan that should see the introduction of no fewer than ten electric models.

As for performance, don’t fret. The Audi brand has a reputation to uphold, so even though the performance specs of this Audi Q7 - sized SUV are still under wraps, it shouldn’t disappoint. Questions on current or upcoming Audi models? Visit Audi Valencia at 23923 Creekside Rd. 

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