Audi has previewed the mid-life update for its the all-electric e-tron SUV at the E-Cannonball rally event in Hamburg, Germany.

    The German carmaker isn’t hiding the fact this e-tron is a prototype, with “specially designed camouflage” and large, stylised stickers reading ‘prototype’.

    A number of updated e-tron prototypes with heavier camouflage have been spied over the last 12 months in both wagon and Sportback ‘coupe SUV’ forms.

    At the front of this most recent e-tron prototype, there’s a restyled grille area with a mesh-like design, as well as a new front bumper with reworked air curtains.

    The subtle design tweaks continue down back with a new rear bumper and diffuser.

    Although the headlights and tail lights appear to be the same as on the current e-tron, Audi says the prototype has “new lighting innovations”.

    It’s unclear what these so-called innovations are at this stage, but one option could be digital OLED tail lights like its internal-combustion Q5 sibling.

    Autocar reported in November 2021 the bigger changes will be under the skin, with the e-tron reportedly getting a larger battery, an updated electronics system, and redesigned motors.

    These updates could boost range to up to 600km per WLTP testing, far beyond the 336km-436km claims of the current e-tron range.

    These changes would address a key criticism of the current e-tron, and help keep it relevant until its replacement – potentially the Q8 e-tron – arrives around mid-decade.

    There have also been rumours out of Europe indicating this updated e-tron could be renamed to the Q8 e-tron before its successor debuts to make its position in the Audi all-electric range clearer, though Audi has still been referring to this prototype as just the e-tron.

    The German carmaker already has the e-tron GT sedan which is based on the same J1 architecture as the Porsche Taycan. Its local launch was recently delayed by a month to October 2022.

    Audi also has the MEB-based Q4 e-tron which is yet to be locked in for Australia, though the local arm says it’s working on it.

    The Q5 e-tron also uses the MEB platform, however it’s a model exclusive to the Chinese market.

    These models will soon be joined by the Q6 e-tron, which will share the Premium Platform Electric platform co-developed by Audi and Porsche with the upcoming Porsche Macan EV.

    Click an image to view the full gallery.

    MORE: Everything Audi e-tron
    MORE: 2023 Audi e-tron spied
    MORE: Audi Q8 e-tron electric flagship confirmed for production

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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