Sam Philip12 January 2010

Revenge of the E-Tron

Audi unveils a second electric sports concept in Detroit. It’s a TT for the future…

Audi e-tron

After showing off the northern-sounding E-Tron concept at the Frankfurt show last year, Audi has unveiled a second electric sports car concept. Confusingly, it is also called the E-Tron.

This may make this news story somewhat baffling, but we shall do our best. The new E-Tron is shorter, lower and narrower than the original E-Tron - think Audi TT rather than R8 - but features a similar, all-electric drivetrain with lithium-ion batteries mounted behind the driver.

A pair of asynchronous (which we think means ‘a bit like that hideous Jedward creation off X-Factor) electric motors develop 201bhp and, like the original E-Tron, an implausible torque figure: 1955lb ft, according to Audi.

However, it emerged that the first E-Tron's 3,319lb ft torque rating was measured at the wheels instead of the output shaft, which meant that, in conventional measurement, it developed something nearer to 250lb ft. So expect the new E-Tron's actual torque figure to read somewhat lower.

In any case, Audi says the new E-Tron will hit 62mph in 5.9 seconds and top out at a limited 124mph, as the drain on the batteries above this speed increases disproportionately. With a weight of 1,350kg - impressively svelte for an electric car, but don't forget it's still a concept - Audi says the E-Tron has a realistic range of 155mph, but we'd guess you'll have to be gentle on the throttle to achieve that. If and when it gets built, that is.

Audi quotes a 40:60 front-rear weight distribution, which, coupled with the short wheelbase and meaty torque, could make the E-Tron a drifty little thing. If and when it gets built, that is.

Far more importantly, we reckon it's a handsome thing. If the future's electric, we're happy if it looks like this. Anyone agree?

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