March 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Luxury German brand Audi has just unveiled the latest edition to its all-electric e-tron range of concept vehicles, this new machine is the A1 e-tron, and it’s arrived with a few suprises.
Like the first e-tron concept based on Audi’s R8 platform, the A1 e-tron is powered by an electric motor producing 45kW and offering a driving range of around 50km in city traffic. That’s just not enough power so when more grunt is needed, the electric motor can generate up to 75kW in short bursts. This allows the A1 e-tron a lazy 0-100km/h time of around 10 seconds.
The A1 e-tron’s electric motor draws power from a lithium ion battery pack with a capacity of 12kWh, major weight-saving has gone into this area and the pack weighs a mere 150kg.
The big news is the inclusion of a standard combustion engine to kick in when the electric motor’s battery energy is depleted. But it’s the choice of engine that’s interesting, Audi will use a range-extending single-rotor 254cc Wankel engine and an electric generator that works to recharge the battery, boosting the A1 e-tron’s driving range by an additional 200km. The Rotary engine will weigh just 70kg including the intake, exhaust and subframe. The strengths of using the rotary engine come with low-vibrations, quiet operation, and small size.
Although it’s currently difficult to measure the true economy of extended-range vehicles the A1 e-tron apparently offers a fuel consumption figure of 1.9 l/100km.
October 7th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Audi’s e-tron concept packs monstrous torque figures and the good looks of the Audi R8 into an environmentally friendly package. Now Audi has green-lighted the e-tron for production.
Powered by a set of four electric motors, the e-tron generates a ridiculous (and possibly inflated) 3,319 pound-feet of torque and 313 horsepower. It will rocket the e-tron from standing o 100kph in just 4.8-seconds and it also does 60-120 kph in just 4.1 seconds, demonstrating excellent in-gear acceleration.
Audi expects to have the car, complete with its 42.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack, in a production prototype stage within 2 years. With the full production e-Tron to come within three years, meaning we could see it in showrooms by the end of 2012.
September 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
When it became known that Audi was unlikely to ever build a production version of its R8 V12 TDI torque lovers were disappointed. Now the automaker has come back with a new R8-based concept that puts the diesel to shame. The new e-tron packs four electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack this outputs 313 hp but an amazing 3,319 lb-ft of torque. The sprint to 100 kph takes 4.8 seconds, but rolling acceleration from 60-120 kph takes just 4.1 seconds thanks to the e-tron’s massive lashings of torque.
Audi acknowledges that electric vehicles are still far from economically viable volume production vehicles, but is nonetheless working on electric technology, both for hybrids and pure EVs. The battery pack sports a 53kWh capacity of which 42.4 kWh is usable. The pack weighs in at 469kg out of a total vehicle weight of 1,600kg and is mounted in front of the rear axle and liquid cooled. Each of the axles sports two electric motors allowing the e-tron to retain Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel drive.