So much electric cars being over glorified go-karts. There were rumors flying all over the place before this years Frankfurt show that Audi was up to something. Audi had a micro-site up about ‘the future being electric’ and the Euro press kept saying stuff about an electric R8. Turns out it was all true, and Audi rolled out what was essentially a modified R8, and one that boasted highly impressive performance numbers.
Just how impressive? How about 3,319 lb-ft of torque for starters?
With that much grunt on tap from zero RPM, the Audi e-tron falls somewhere between psychotic and mentally ill in the automotive world. Added to the ocean going tug like torque figures is the horsepower output of 313 horsepower. To put that 3300+ lb-ft of torque within the spectrum of other automobiles, the Tesla Roadster cranks out 276 foot-pounds, the Dodge Viper gets 600 from its ICE V10 and the Bugatti Veyron puts down “only” 922.
All that grunt is produced by four motors, two each at the front and rear axles and is enough to send the Audi e-tron two-seater from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and from 60 to 120 km/h in 4.1 seconds. The range is given as 154 miles coming solely from the lithium-ion battery. The top end is limited to 200 km/hr, or around 124 mph to make the most of battery range. If it wasn’t for the limiter, the battery would flatten in no time.
Good thing Audi saw the efficacy of fitting the e-tron huge tires: 19-inch 295/30 up front and 19-inch 295/35 out back. Normally, 70% of the torque goes to the rear wheels and that distribution is controlled via computer.
Audi kept the e-tron’s weight as low as they cold, having it tip the scales at an impressive 3,527 pounds, which is just 253 pounds more than the new Ferrari 458 Italia. Audi handled this by extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber in building the car and made the doors, roof and other body panels of fiber-reinforced plastic. Although it looks like a modified R8, it’s slightly smaller in every dimension. Audi says the car has a 42:58 weight distribution.
So when will we see it on the street? Audi says the e-tron is just a concept and that there\’s still a lot of work to be done before EVs are ready for mass-market production.
I say get the work done and build the darn thing.