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Audi e-Tron launch now in 2012 – Torque figures rubbished

Sun, 06 Dec 2009

The Audi e-Tron at the LA Auto Show

Audi’s electric R8 – the Audi e-Tron – was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year and has just had its US debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show. Dubbed the Electric R8 it is in fact a stand alone car that happens to have styling similarities to Audi’s Supercar R8, but there the similarity ends.

The e-Tron – which took a little of the glory off BMW’s Vision ED Concept - boasts four electric motors – one at each wheel – which produce the equivalent of 313bhp. That is enough to get the e-Tron to 60mph in around 4.6 seconds which is none too shoddy for an EV. But the astonishing figure quoted was the torque the e-Tron delivers. According to Audi it has 3,115 lb-ft, which is nothing short of incredible.

We sort of accepted the figure as right even if we couldn’t conceive how on earth that amount of torque could ever be utilised – and even though one or two at Cars UK Towers believed Audi had simply made the figure up. But a big bit of our acceptance of that figure was a lack of experience with EVs. We accepted at face value what Audi said. But it would seem they were being disingenuous at best – misleading us all at worst. In fact the figure Audi quoted was torque at the wheels. Which has the benefit of the gearbox and final drive in the way and is roughly ten times what you would get if you took the figure at the crank. Which is where all the torque figures you see quoted are normally taken.

Automobile Magazine have sussed this, and have worked out that the Audi e-Tron actually manages to produce a relatively paltry 252lb/ft. No more than for example a Tesla Roadster. Which makes far more sense. Naughty Audi. Amazing none of us picked this up before. Slap wrists all round. Hats off to Automobile Magazine.

Misleading torque figures and fantasy specs apart, Audi has revealed that they intend to release the e-Tron in limited numbers in late 2012. Considering they told us in October that they would launch the e-Tron in 2011, we have to suspect that Audi needs time for technology to catch up with the promises made about the e-Tron’s abilities.

But we’re pretty certain it will never deliver 3,115 real torques.

Source: Automobile Magazine

By Cars UK