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New Audi e-Tron at Detroit – the ‘Compact’ e-Tron

Mon, 11 Jan 2010 00:00:00 -0800

Audi has revealed a compact version of the e-Tron at the Detroit Motor Show

Audi brought along the first Audi e-Tron to the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Looking like an electric version of the Audi R8, it managed to steal some of the thunder from BMW’s Vision ED concept . Most notable was the stratospheric torque figures Audi quoted, which ultimately turned out to be somewhat disingenuous. Audi quoted 3115lbs/ft of torque for the e-Tron, which was frankly unbelievable.

It turned out that Audi were quoting torque figures at the wheel and the real figure was more like 252lb/ft if measured conventionally. Still, the promised performance of 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds and the 313bhp was none too shoddy.

And now Audi are having another bash with the e-Tron, this time in a more compact car smaller than the Audi TT (more like the old TT in size). This time the e-Tron gets 204bhp from a pair of electric motors driving the rear wheels (and Audi are still playing silly buggers by quoting torque figures of 1954lb/ft), with the batteries built under the car to keep accommodation acceptable and weight distribution at 60/40.

Performance is said to be 0-60mph in mid 5 seconds and a limited top speed of 124mph. Recharge time is a relatively leisurely eleven hours from a domestic socket, although a two hour charge is possible if you have access to a 400v supply. Range is said to be 155 miles, although not if you use the performance to any degree.

Audi are obviously serious about producing an electric sports car, and this latest e-Tron concept previews a car that would sit well below the £100k + full size e-Tron we saw at Frankfurt – perhaps in the £50k range. Audi are also keen to develop the e-Tron as a sort of sub-brand – a bit like quattro.

With the full size e-Tron apparently signed-off for production in 2012, it’s going to be interesting to see what Audi has in mind for putting this compact e-Tron in to production.


By Cars UK