Audi E-Tron EV Gets Aerodynamic Side Cameras Instead of Mirrors

Courtesy: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
Courtesy: Harold Cunningham/Getty Images /

The Audi E-Tron electric crossover SUV is embracing the future by implementing side cameras instead of boring, old side mirrors. Unfortunately, they are not allowed in the United States yet.

There’s the catch; even so, it is a remarkable innovation and we are definitely intrigued to know more about it. It seems like a foreign and futuristic concept, but it is certainly not a new one. Replacing side-view mirrors with small cameras is becoming more of a reality than a concept. Audi is currently building up its launch of the E-Tron electric SUV – a green vehicle that will offer “virtual exterior mirrors” with stalks that hold the cameras at the tip.

For now, the feature will only be available as an option in Europe and elsewhere around the globe. In America, though, it is not currently legal. We do hope that will change soon. It may be due, in part, to the fact that the United Nations has passed a convention to allow these cameras to increase fuel efficiency. The U.S. has not yet adopted this way, but may do so in the

According to Automotive News, the United States was expected to adopt vehicle regulations regarding side mirrors and cameras this year that would be similar to those in Europe. If it gets to that, it will allow Audi to have them on the vehicles in America.

Nissan and Cadillacs already offer a camera-based center rearview mirror as an option.

It features a wide-angle lens that the automaker says reduces the amount of blind spots. The reviews are mixed, as some drivers find it more complicated to use. After all, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Though with this changing day and age, everything seems to be moving quickly and more toward a technological world. Those who don’t conform may be left behind, or just left really lost – it’s unfortunate. There is definitely a learning curve for these things.

Audi will be the first to have a production vehicle offer the cameras in place of the actual exterior mirrors. Just like the traditional side mirrors we are used to seeing, these cameras will be mounted at the base of both front windows.

To automotive engineers, the side-mirrors have always been the bane of their existence – especially when trying to improve fuel efficiency and aerodynamics. Those traits are particularly important in an electric SUV.

"According to GreenCarReports, the German automaker claims that every improvement of 0.01 in drag coefficient adds about 3 miles to the range of its electric SUV. Typical side mirrors add between 0.015 and 0.03 to the drag coefficient, so the e-tron could eke out an extra 5 to 9 miles of range by eliminating the mirrors."

The E-Tron cameras will shave off 5.9 inches from the width of the car and reduce drag and annoying wind noise as well. The image on the driver-side camera will be projected onto a screen between the instrument cluster and the door.

The E-Tron SUV will also feature active grille shutters, active air suspension, new tires with information etched on them, and dimples across the bottom of the car to decrease drag.

Next: Schaeffler Converts Audi RS3 Into 1,200-HP Electric Beast

See the 2019 Audi E-Tron Sportback up close in the video below. Get a detailed look at it from the interior to the exterior.

What is your opinion on the features of the 2019 Audi E-Tron EV? How well do you think it will perform in the consumer market? Sound off in the comment section below.