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Audi planning five Eco models

Mon, 19 Jan 2009


As we’ve noted before, Audi has a niche for every buyer, from hatchback to supercar, with a good dose of SUV / people carrier on the way. But with the world becoming ‘Eco’ obsessed, there are plans now unfolding to put Audi at the heart of this revolution.

Audi doesn’t tend to do things by halves, and its plans for an eco range, as reported by Car Magazine, go far further than most manufacturers. It is not going to throw a few eco-credentials at existing models, instead, it intends to build a whole new range of five different models to encompass cars to suit every buyer.

Dubbed E1 to E5 by Audi, the first of these models, the E1, seems to have already been signed off for production. Based on the VW Up! concept – a sub-Polo sized car – it will come with a choice of small turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, in 3 and 4 door versions. It seems likely that the 4 door car will also spawn an electric version.

Audi Roadjet Concept - Will form the basis of the new Audi E4

The second model, the E2, will be based on VW’s BlueSport concept, a small, economical Roadster. It will be completely reskinned from the VW concept, and aims to be a contender in the Lotus Elise sector. Featuring small turbo-charged engines, it is thought this may also offer an electric version, perhaps utilising Tesla’s electric technology.

The E3 will in effect be the relaunch of the A2. The A2 was, in its time, quite a technological tour de force. But the public never took to it (it was so light it used to rock when the wipers were switched on!), and it was, by Audi standards, something of a flop. The new E3 will be based on the next generation A3 hatchback and make much use of aluminium, just as the A2 did in the nineties.

The Audi Roadjet concept was shown at Detroit in 2006, but seemed to disappear. But now it’s back, and will form the basis for the fourth model, the E4. It’s a flexible van-like design, and will in effect be a big brother for the E3. As such, it will get more powerful engines and may even offer a hybrid version.

Finally, and probably not until 2014, Audi will launch the E5. Details are still scarce, but this is expected to not just be fuel efficient, but offer real performance. It could be a development of the A1, or could be based on Audi’s R platform. Whichever, it is Audi’s chance to demonstrate that weight saving and efficient engines can bring performance as well as economy.

An ambitious plan to offer a completely new range of Eco models is typical of Audi, and will ensure that the company stays very much at the top of the tree.

By Cars UK