A software update could soon add range to earlier-production Audi E-Tron electric SUVs, but it won't be done over the air.
Vehicles from model years 2019 and 2020—the first two model years of E-Tron production—can now get an update good for 12.4 miles of WLTP range, Audi said in a press release. Audi of America couldn't confirm timing for the update, or range figures on the EPA testing cycle, but would confirm that it is coming to the U.S.
The update expands usable battery capacity, changes thermal management controls to reduce energy consumption, and changes controls for the front motor. In normal driving, only the rear motor is used, with the front motor now almost completely disconnected and powered off, according to Audi. Both motors are used when more power is needed.
2019 Audi E-tron
Audi is making the update available for vehicles manufactured between mid-September 2018 and the end of November 2019. The update is not over the air and will require a trip back to the dealership, which will install it free of charge.
The changes parallel those given to the model in 2020, after it had been on the market for about a year. Those improvements were given to the E-Tron Sportback for the 2020 model year, and then the whole lineup for 2021.
Audi has been making a point all along that E-tron range ratings might not be class-leading, they're consistent. Still, a little additional range can't hurt, and the upcoming Q4 E-Tron is expected to offer over-the-air updates, making any similar future software tweaks easier for owners to get.