Remember the Audi e-Tron which made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2009? The latest news is that the company is planning to manufacture and sell the Audi e-Tron by 2012. Audi chairman Rupert Stadler told AutoCar magazine of UK that the e-Tron will see production in 2012. Oops. We mistyped it as 2010 – not 2012. Apologies. Production version in 2012. Sorry!
Audi displayed an orange-painted e-Tron electric super car at the ongoing Los Angeles Auto Show. It is said that the production version would be named the Audi R4. Not sure about that one. 2010 is a long way away, and lots of things might change for the electric supercar between now and then. What we certainly know is that we like it in red, but the orange version makes your eyes scream in despair.
The Audi e-Tron concept car has four electric motors powering it, one at each wheel. The power produced is comparable to 313 bhp, and max torque produced is a humungous 3319 pound-feet or 4500 Nm. If you want to compare, that is ten times the torque of the Audi R8 supercar! 37-75 mph takes another 4.1 seconds, and maximum speed is 124 miles per hour.
The e-Tron concept can reach 0-62 mph in just 4.8 seconds, and the lithium ion battery pack can take the car to a maximum range of 154 miles, quite comparable to the Tesla Roadster.
The Audi e-Tron uses pretty much the same bodyshell as the Audi R8 supercar – obviously some changes have been made to make the car lighter and better aerodynamic performance.
There is the possibility that the production e-Tron will look quite different. For all we know, it might be an existing Audi car with the electric motor and powertrain plonked in. Also, the four motors, one at each wheel, while super snazzy technology, may not be all that easy in a production electric car. There will definitely be some collaboration or platform sharing with Volkswagen or Porsche too.
Whether we like it or not, electric tech that is this good is expensive, and therefore will initially come only in high-end cars where buyers are happy to spend money for the novelty factor and prices do not matter. It would definitely take time for such tech to become cost-effective to make it to low end commuter cars. Be that as it may, the fact that a production Audi e-Tron will actually appear is cause for celebration.