Owners of the 2019/2020 model year Audi e-tron 55 Quattro are getting an early holiday gift this year in the form of free software updates that boosts the car’s range … in the UK, anyway.
The new-for-2021 spec Audi e-tron 55 Quattro got a full 12.4 miles of additional driving range than its 2019/2020 siblings. That enhanced efficiency expands the usable capacity of the high-voltage battery. As a result of the upgrades, the cars’ 95 kWh battery delivers more net usable power, fully 86 kWh, which translates into the increased range.
“At Audi, we deliver progress through technology – and there’s no clearer demonstration of that than the free software and range update we’ve just launched for our existing e-tron 55 Quattro customers,” said Andrew Doyle, Director Audi UK, in the official press release. “As we shift our focus to the world of electric vehicles, we’re channelling our pioneering spirit and world-renowned technological expertise into the reinvention of our company as a leading light in the field of sustainable mobility.”
Maybe Software Updates Aren’t Just a Paywall Scam
The news from Audi UK that it’s not locking existing customers “out” from the latest features seems to be in stark contrast to the view taken by cross-town rivals, Mercedes-Benz, who are famously charging buyers subscription fees in order to access hardware “options” they already paid for when they bought the car. “It will cost you about $575 a year to get an over-the-air update that will unlock the 10-degree rear-wheel-steering system,” writes Tim Healy at The Truth About Cars. “Unless you sign up for a three-year subscription, in which case you’ll pay a bit over $1,300, which is a bit of a discount in terms of per-year rate.”
It’s good news, in other words — and not just for Audi UK customers. It seems like US buyers of the Audi e-tron 55 Quattro will be getting a similar update sometime soon. “We can confirm that U.S. drivers of the 2019 model year Audi e-tron in the near future will be eligible for a dealer-installed software update that is designed to improve efficiency,” Audi US revealed to Motor 1. “Similar to improvements already implemented for the 2020 e-tron Sportback and 2021 e-tron and e-tron Sportback models, this update will allow vehicles to de-energize the front motor during normal driving as well as increase the usable capacity of the high-voltage battery. We will be in touch with customers directly once we are able to provide the improvements.”
Time for Some Audi Op-Ed
I think this is great news for Audi fans. I’ve spent decades calling Audi cars overpriced VWs due to the extensive platform sharing between the A3/Golf and A4/Passat models (among others), but this shows some real appreciation from the OEM for manufacturers willing to pay a premium for a given design language. And, like, customer service matters — heck, Audi’s commercials even seem to be hitting the right chords these days!
That’s my take, anyway — what’s yours? Do you think this move is secretly cutting service costs or something down the road, or is Audi genuinely trying to do right by their customers? Check out the official press release (below) then scroll down to the comments section and let us know.
- Free range boost for Audi e-tron 55 quattro: software update for 2019/2020 model years
- Free software update expands usable range of the high-voltage battery
- Available for a total of 1,655 Audi e-tron 55 quattro vehicles in the UK
- Improvements deliver up to 12.4 miles of additional range
- Audi global EV sales up 51 percent YoY to 52,774 units
Milton Keynes, November 16, 2021 – Owners of an Audi e-tron from the 2019 or 2020 model years can now travel farther on a single charge – a new software update will extend their car’s range by up to 12.4 additional miles. This means that Audi isn’t limiting efficiency increases to new models, but also boosting the efficiency of cars already on the road. The update is now available to UK customers and can be installed free of charge at Audi service centres.
Effective immediately, the software features behind this efficiency enhancement expand the usable capacity of the high-voltage battery. As a result, the 95 kWh battery in the Audi e-tron 55 quattro delivers more net usable power – 86 kWh capacity therefore translates into increased range. The software update for all Audi e-tron 55 quattro production vehicles built between mid-September 2018 (model year 2019) and the end of November 2019 (model year 2020) can now be installed free of charge at Audi service partners. In the UK, 1,655 e-tron vehicles are compatible with the update, which will also include a complimentary health check.
In addition to the battery capacity, the new software also optimises the control of the front electric motor. In normal driving mode, the motor attached to the rear axle is responsible for propulsion. For improved efficiency, the front electric motor is now almost completely disconnected and powered off – and only when more power is needed do both motors come into play. This makes it possible to even more effectively exploit the major advantage of the asynchronous motor concept, i.e., currentless operation without electrical drag losses.
Furthermore, the update also improves cooling. The highly flexible thermal management system, which consists of four separate circuits, regulates the temperature of the high-voltage components even more efficiently. Modifying the control system made it possible to reduce the volume flow rates in the coolant circuit, thus reducing energy consumption. The cooling system is the basis for fast DC charging, long battery life, and consistent driving performance, even under high loads.
Excellent suitability for everyday use, excellent sales figures
The first fully electric Audi has been manufactured at our net-zero carbon-neutral site in Brussels since the end of 2018. By this spring, the e-tron had already surpassed 100,000 units sold. In Norway, the model was even the best-selling car across all drive types last year.
Significant growth in deliveries of all-electric Audi models justify the company’s clear move towards e-mobility: by the end of September, Audi had supplied 52,774 all-electric vehicles to customers globally, and therefore achieved an increase of 51.4 percent compared to the same period in the previous year (2020: 34,850). As early as 2026, new models launched to the market by Audi will be all-electric exclusively. In 2033 production of the last models with internal combustion engines will cease.
“At Audi, we deliver progress through technology – and there’s no clearer demonstration of that than the free software and range update we’ve just launched for our existing e-tron 55 quattro customers,” commented Andrew Doyle Director Audi UK. “As we shift our focus to the world of electric vehicles, we’re channelling our pioneering spirit and world-renowned technological expertise into the reinvention of our company as a leading light in the field of sustainable mobility.
“As one of the automotive industry’s first signatories of the Paris Climate Agreement, Audi is taking a holistic and uncompromising approach to meeting its environmental obligations. We have set ourselves ambitious sustainability targets that include the attainment of a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle-specific CO2 emissions throughout the product lifecycle by 2025, operation of all Audi production sites with net zero carbon emissions by that same deadline, and full company-wide carbon neutrality on balance by no later than 2050.”
Source | Images: Audi UK, official press release.
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