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Audi will build electric sports car

Mon, 05 Oct 2009

It's official: Audi's e-tron is a go.

Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen says an electric vehicle based on the high-performance e-tron concept will debut in the United States in two to three years.

The sleek two-seat sports car was unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show last month, but at the time Audi would not confirm plans to produce it. Now de Nysschen says the car is on its way.

"I expect we will see running examples in the next 24 months," he says.

The e-tron concept is powered by four electric motors, one on each wheel. Audi says the car has a range of 154 miles using a lithium ion battery positioned behind the passenger cabin.

The show car is 168 inches long -- about midway between Audi's TT and R8 sports cars--and 75 inches wide.

The e-tron uses a space frame. All the added-on body parts, including the doors and roof, are made of a fiber-reinforced plastic.

Audi also is developing hybrid vehicles. The first on the U.S. market will be the Q5 crossover, scheduled to debut in the 2011 model year.

By Diana T. Kurylko- Automotive News