facebook twitter pinterest instagram You Tube

Behind the Wheel of the Audi e-tron Electric Sports Car

Paul Meyers

While Audi’s marketing dollars are going to their TDI clean-diesel campaign, the German brand’s research and development dollars are going into their first all-electric vehicle: the Audi e-tron. The e-tron debuted as a concept car at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and just a few months later Audi came to the L.A. Auto Show with its first drivable prototype. The German automaker invited Robb Report to experience the e-tron firsthand at a remote location off of Pacific Coast Highway—just a few miles north of the magazine’s Malibu headquarters.

At first glance, the e-tron looks strikingly similar to Audi’s flagship R8 sports car, and according to Thomas Kraeuter, Audi’s technical project manager, there is a good reason for that. “We started the e-tron project out with the R8, but then we chopped it up, stretched the wheelbase, lowered the height, removed the engine, then added batteries and four electric motors.” Regardless of how they built the e-tron, it is still an amazing feat of technology—especially considering Audi developed this drivable vehicle in roughly nine months.

When the official car finally rolls around for the 2012 model year it will likely be priced around $200,000 and based on the new A1 platform—not the R8. But one thing is for certain: The electric Audi will be fast. With nearly 3,000 ft.-lbs. of torque on tap at zero rpm, the e-tron dashed from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds during the short test drive along the coast. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about getting a speeding ticket because the local California Highway Patrol was on-site in order to close the road during our short test—not to mention that Audi limited the vehicle’s top speed to a modest 75 mph. According to Audi, the production version will reach a 125-mph top speed and be limited to 1,000 units worldwide. (www.audiusa.com)

Read Next Article >>
Photo by Drew Phillips
With a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.9 second and a top speed beyond 200 mph, the new roadster will...
Photo by Dejan Sokolovski
The S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar were put through their paces by a professional racecar driver…
The upgraded iteration of Bentley’s flagship now carries the carmaker’s most powerful V-8 engine…
Seemingly minor power boosts lend the super-looking models some supercar performance…
918 Spyder Pure. Energy. Some stories are told in just 6 minutes and 57 seconds. For this story,...
Photo by Daimler AG
The gullwing doors are gone, but the German carmaker’s new flagship sports car will fly off the...
Sam Pack’s assemblage of automobiles could fill a municipal garage. But even Dallas collectors have...
The new program puts guests behind the wheels of supercars…
Production versions of this mean machine are scheduled to hit the street…
Photo by Charlie Magee
Created by Jaguar’s director of design, the new car is a reinterpretation of the classic Jaguar...