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Audi showcases styling direction with electric E-tron Quattro concept (pictures)

Sharp lines adorn the wagon-like body of the new E-tron Quattro concept, unveiled by Audi at the Frankfurt auto show, an indication of its future styling direction.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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Audi E-tron Quattro concept
1 of 18 Josh Miller/CNET

FRANKFURT -- Audi is developing a fully electric car for 2018, and the E-tron Quattro concept indicates the direction the company is going.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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The E-tron Quattro concept shows Audi's current design direction as well, with sharp lines and geometric shapes.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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LED headlights save the E-tron Quattro concept's energy at night.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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The large grille has become something of an Audi icon, but here it is used to help cool the battery pack rather than an engine.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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A 95 kilowatt-hour battery pack rests under the cabin, centering weight low in the chassis.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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Audi uses three electric motors for the E-tron Quattro concept: one up front and two at the rear, with torque distributed to improve handling and traction.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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To improve aerodynamics, Audi uses cameras instead of side mirrors.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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Audi notes that the E-tron Quattro concept takes 50 minutes to charge from a Level 3 DC station.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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Audi calls the E-tron Quattro concept an SUV, but the low roofline gives it a more wagon-like look.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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A solar roof provides a trickle of electricity into the battery pack.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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The styling lines remain crisp even across the rounded rear of the concept.

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The choice of this body type allows a large battery pack, giving the concept a range of 310 miles and plenty of room for cargo and passengers.

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An upscale interior reflects Audi's premium brand status.

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Audi uses a concept version of its Virtual Cockpit infotainment interface currently found in its Q7 SUV.

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A large display in front of the driver shows virtual gauges, navigation and other information.

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With an electric drive, there are no gears to shift, so the console holds a drive selector.

Audi E-tron Quattro concept
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Similar to the Prologue concept shown last year, the E-tron Quattro concept has a small touchscreen at the base of the console.

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This rear touchscreen gives passengers control over climate and entertainment.

Be sure to check out all of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.

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