The Frankfurt Motor show, promised to be launch venue for a whole host of electric vehicles. Most notable for its boldness and mainstream manufacturer pedigree was the Audi e-tron. It is however only a concept car, whilst Tesla, for instance has already delivered a fair few Roadsters. What’s special about the e-tron though, is the complete thoroughness and integration of numerous systems, to create a future-electric car that intelligently reacts to its immediate environment and dynamics.
The car adapts its cooling vents to suit its motor temperature: closed flaps reduce wind-resistance. The four electric motors, two forward, and two aft of the cockpit, assure perfect weight distribution, and allow adjustable traction to suit road conditions. This is true Quattro territory. Furthermore, a heat pump ( a first in an electric car Audi say ) transfers otherwise wasted energy to cabin heating in cold weather. There is of course the now mandatory regenerative braking energy system. Power is lithium-ion, nothing new, but promises outstanding performance, with sub 5 second to 60mph acceleration and 124mph top speed.
Our initial visual impressions were a bit negative. It’s lineage, as an R8 evolution are clear, but the execution is strangely retro. It must be the multi spoke wheels and vents that hark back to old racing vented drum brakes, or pseudo-luxury barges. The Austin Vanden Plas type alloys springs to mind, yikes! Maybe we are too used to panel gaps and production reality margins to accept such a smooth seamless car. maybe also, we expect a more hunky, horny vehicle when we know its heritage is the awesome and adrenaline filled shape of the R8. Remember the slick Audi RSQ from the i-Robot film ? That exuded combined power and mystique. Judge for yourself with these images[Gallery not found]
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