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Smaller E-tron breaks cover

2010-01-12 07:32
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Audi
Model E-TRON
Engine Electric
Power 150kW
Torque 2 650Nm
Zero To Hundred 5.9 seconds
Top Speed 200km/h
Weight 1 350kg
Audi’s E-tron has been trimmed down closer to production specification for its second public showing Stateside in Detroit.

Based on the R8 supercar, E-tron represents Audi’s thinking on zero-emission motoring – essentially that being environmentally friendly should not impede performance expectations.

Still some silly numbers, some more realistic ones too...

The E-tron on display at the Detroit auto show this week is shorter and lighter (by 250kg) than the original car which debuted at Frankfurt last year.

Power is down slightly too (from 230- to 150kW) whilst peak rotational force – depending on how you measure torque output – has weakened from 4 500- to only 2 650Nm…

Beyond the slightly more production based drivetrain (with four electric motors still driving an individual wheel each) E-tron sports significant performance credentials. Audi claims 0-100km/h acceleration in only 5.9 seconds, with 60-120km/h roll-on flexibility in only 5.1 seconds.

Surfacing is mostly devoid of air-intakes, as there is no engine to cool. Front air-intakes can be closed at speed to aid aerodynamic efficiency.

Acute all-wheel drive control

Further shoring up the E-tron’s dynamics is a complex torque vectoring system which enacts unparalleled all-wheel drive torque distribution adaptability.

Torque vectoring apportions drive to wheels on demand, factoring in steering and slip angles, which means although the default drive configuration is a 30/70 rearward bias, you’ll never see the alleged 2 650Nm deployed all at once.

A particular advantage of electric drive, in conjunction with a torque vectoring system, is the immediacy with which toque flow to individual wheels can be increased or decreased.

Parameters for dynamic stability interventions or performance driving are practically infinite with an electric drive torque vectoring system, unlike traditional limited-slip differentials.

The result, Audi says, is epic grip and outstanding agility.

Worth the charge?

As with any electric vehicle range and recharging are an issue, although Audi claims the E-tron’s lithium-ion batteries (worth 45kWh) should be worth an operational range of around 250km.

Maximum capacity recharging from a 230V socket requires 11 hours, yet if you have access to an industrial facility with 400V output E-tron only needs to be connected for two hours to charge-up.

The E-tron is expected to go on sale in 2012.


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