Audi e-tron electric SUV appears in camouflage at Geneva show, on city roads

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Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on stage at 2018 Geneva auto show

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on stage at 2018 Geneva auto show

The Geneva auto show was expected to offer the first head-to-head comparison between the first two all-electric SUVs models from European luxury brands, both starting deliveries later this year.

It didn't quite work out that way.

The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace did indeed debut last Friday, before media days at the show, but the 2019 Audi e-tron didn't.

DON'T MISS: 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV deliveries start in Europe this fall

Well, not exactly, anyhow.

Rather than do a full debut launch event for the 2019 e-tron—that's promised for sometime later this year, we gather—Audi showed a camouflaged version of the e-tron to the media.

It only appeared for a few minutes, at the end of a press conference largely devoted to more prosaic models, and after a video showing similarly camouflaged test cars in the desert.

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on stage at 2018 Geneva auto show

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on stage at 2018 Geneva auto show

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on video at 2018 Geneva auto show

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on video at 2018 Geneva auto show

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on video at 2018 Geneva auto show

Camouflaged 2019 Audi e-tron electric SUV on video at 2018 Geneva auto show

Audi also drove several similarly disguised e-trons around the city of Geneva as part of a social-media contest in which everyone was invited to snap photos of the camouflaged cars and post them online with the hashtag #etron.

The contest was promoted by Audi as part of its Geneva show events, which noted that the camouflage film was specially designed to "showcase the high-voltage drive system."

READ MORE: Audi e-Tron Quattro Electric Car Production Site Chosen (Jan 2016)

The European launch of the e-tron will now be "at the end of the year," Audi added, following tests with hundreds of development vehicles "under extreme conditions worldwide."

The company plans to publish the best and "most spectacular" photos of the camouflaged e-tron from social networks on its promotional for the e-tron.

Audi of America president Scot Keogh with Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Los Angeles auto show

Audi of America president Scot Keogh with Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Los Angeles auto show

With specs for the Jaguar I-Pace already known—240 miles of EPA-rated range from a 90-kilowatt-hour battery, and a starting price of $70,500—Audi's press materials leaned heavily on one first the e-tron seems likely to achieve before any other plug-in electric car.

That's the e-tron's ability to fast-charge at up to 150 kilowatts, faster than the 100 kw promised by the I-Pace and the 135-kw maximum now possible for various Tesla models.

Audi's parent, the VW Group, is part of a multi-carmaker consortium backing a comprehensive high-speed DC fast-charging network across European highways. Named Ionity, it also has the backing of BMW, Daimler, Ford, and others.

CHECK OUT: One-Quarter Of All Audis To Be Electric In 10 Years, Company Says (Nov 2015)

Meanwhile, the Electrify America project in the U.S. that's funded by $2 billion in penalties levied on Volkswagen for its diesel cheating scandal will presumably include some 150-kw charging stations as well as its plug-in car charging stations start to appear.

The full 16-minute Audi press event is shown below on video; the segment leading up to the appearance of the camouflaged e-tron appears starting at roughly the 13:20-minute mark.

For all the latest about green-car concepts and production models on display in Switzerland, see our Geneva auto-show news page.

 
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