Paris Motor Show 2010 – Audi e-tron Spyder Concept

This is not a just convertible e-tron, but a whole reconfiguration into a plug-in hybrid Look over to the left of the Audi Quattro Concept on the Audi stand and you’ll notice, what at first glance looks like the convertible version. A natural assumption when you see the similar nose, waistline and short overhangs of […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Audi e-tron Spyder Concept

This is not a just convertible e-tron, but a whole reconfiguration into a plug-in hybrid

Look over to the left of the Audi Quattro Concept on the Audi stand and you’ll notice, what at first glance looks like the convertible version. A natural assumption when you see the similar nose, waistline and short overhangs of this silver spider. Audi are demonstrating and evolving their new design language, which started with the A5 coupe and it’s concept predecessor the Nuvolari quattro. Look under the striking silver skin and that’s where the similarities end. This Audi e-tron also looks just like an open air follow up to the e-tron supercar shown at the Geneva Show in March. The pivotal word in Audi’s description though is “hybrid”. Whereas the original e-tron was a pure electric car, this iteration is powered by Audi’s highly efficient new 3.0 TDi engine. Audi’s Le Mans success and everyone’s experience of driving many highly desirable cars powered by diesel makes this not such an unlikely powertrain. Here we are looking at the immediate future of sportscars; able to deliver shattering performance and still return favourable fuel consumption and emissions. Porsche got there first with the 918 Spyder concept and the rest of the world will be following along shortly. Sporting 600 miles+ range, 128 mpg and 59 g/km, Audi’s e-tron Spyder is not to be sniffed at! Combining the torque from TDi and front drive electric motors gives the concept massive torque, controllable in Quattro fashion. 1,002 Nm of torque should do rather nicely thank you.


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Audi Quattro Concept

Audi’s Quattro Concept points to future while harking back to the 80’s Take an RS5, chop 150mm off the wheelbase, lop off surplus overhangs, chuck out the back seats, and send the whole shebang on a high carbon diet and what do you get? Strangely Audi would have you believe a modern iteration of the […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Audi Quattro Concept

Audi’s Quattro Concept points to future while harking back to the 80’s

Take an RS5, chop 150mm off the wheelbase, lop off surplus overhangs, chuck out the back seats, and send the whole shebang on a high carbon diet and what do you get? Strangely Audi would have you believe a modern iteration of the short wheel base Quattro. Well, a concept anyway. True it sports a 5 cylinder turbo, 4-wheel drive and some styling cues from the boxy 1984 rally homologation special. In truth it’s more of a technical exercise, an engineers’ crash course in losing weight in all areas and pointer to the immediate future. And yet when all the kilos have been shaved from body, chassis, engine and drivetrain this concept weighs the same as the original at 1300 kgs. Luckily it’ all wrapped up in a beautiful body, much prettier than the cut-and-shunt brute of the original and poised as a combustion engine antidote to the electric E-Tron with which it shares the stand.


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Paris Motor Show – Audi R8GT

Audi turn up the wick with a pseudo race version of their R8, the GT Audi R8 goes on a diet: loses 100 kgs, gains tons of carbon fibre reinforced plastic. Yet another supercar gets the liposuction treatment. Don’t get us wrong; it’s a great idea, just not very original. Nor should that detract from […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Audi R8GT

Audi turn up the wick with a pseudo race version of their R8, the GT

Audi R8 goes on a diet: loses 100 kgs, gains tons of carbon fibre reinforced plastic. Yet another supercar gets the liposuction treatment. Don’t get us wrong; it’s a great idea, just not very original. Nor should that detract from the fact that lighter cars automatically equal faster cars for the same energy input. Resigned, yet content to live in the shadow of it’s cousin the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8’s diet took it down to 1525 kgs, whereas the Superleggera’s kerb weight went down to 1340 kgs. Add to that the R8 GT’s 10 BHP deficiency and you can do the sums…But the Audi has it’s own character and market so won’t be worried by the comparison. What was a slick, neat supercar just grew wings and fins and no doubt breathes fire. Oh, and you can specify a roll cage too ;-)


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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – Audi E-Tron

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 […]

Audi e-tron

Audi e-tron

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.

Audi e-tron

Audi e-tron

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

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2009 IAA Frankfurt Auto / Motor Show – day2 – Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder: is this what the R8 should have been all along? We think not. The coupe’s distinctive midship styling panel ( side blades ) set it apart, and losing in it in the convertible dilutes the model and image. It’s softer, more rounded, less controversial and consequently more ordinary. But we’ll let it […]

Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder

Audi R8 Spyder: is this what the R8 should have been all along? We think not. The coupe’s distinctive midship styling panel ( side blades ) set it apart, and losing in it in the convertible dilutes the model and image. It’s softer, more rounded, less controversial and consequently more ordinary. But we’ll let it off, as it’s mostly spectacular, and undoubtedly will be the hot ride in “New Porsche Beach ” ( nickname for super-wealthy LA suburb )

Additionally, we think that with all the progress made in automotive engineering recently, manufacturers should have been able to come up with a lightweight retractable hardtop that doesn’t spoil the lines or consume all the boot space. The R8 Spyder looks elegant with canvas top raised, but the security and longevity of a solid roof is invaluable. Audi is not alone; we can aim this critisism at most supercar manufacturers. Thinking of parking your pride and joy on dodgy territory ? The solidity of your roof will hugely influence your decision on which toy you’ll pluck out of the garage.
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