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Review – Audi A1 E-Tron Concept

Audi A1 E-Tron Concept

In the past, the idea of creating an electric or hybrid sports car was something unusual, but as time passed by, automakers like Tesla or Mercedes introduced us to their concepts. The first one to reveal an electric sports car was Tesla with its beautiful Roadster model. The Germans over at Mercedes launched this year the SLS E-Cell concept which will most likely go into production starting with 2013, for those of us that can afford $250,000 for an electric car. If you want something more affordable (but still quite expensive), Audi might have what you need, the A1 E-Tron which will go into production starting with 2012 at a $150,000 price tag.

These cars won’t be very successful at first due to their hefty price and limited autonomy. The big bucks will be given to the ordinary cars like the Nissan Leaf or the Chevrolet Volt. This E-Tron from Audi is based on the small A1 model and it was designed as a “mega city vehicle”, which is a small-sized agile vehicle, ostensibly affordable and can be used on a daily bases, featuring four full-size seats. With other words, it is the ideal urban transport method that might be enjoyed by more picky automobile enthusiasts.

This special Audi A1 model gets is power from a transverse synchronous electric motor which is mounted low and up front into the chassis. The car comes with a 12 kW lithium-ion battery that is placed beneath the floor and has a power output of 61 hp and a torque of 111 lb-ft. Exaggerating a little bit, the car resembles with the Porsche 911 Turbo in the way that it is capable of generating more power in short bursts (up to 177 lb-ft, 102 hp). The people over at Audi said that the A1 E-Tron Concept will need 10.2 seconds in order to reach 62 mph from dead start. Top speed should be about 80 mph or so.

If the driver of the A1 uses the car only with the batteries, it will last him approximately 30 miles, which according to Audi is enough for getting the job done in the city. If your battery reaches the 0% level of charge, it will take you three hours to fully charge it at a 220-volt outlet, or six hours at a 110-volt one. For those of you that want to get greater distances, the E-Tron is equipped with a 254 cc single-rotor Wankel engine which can be used in order to power up the battery. It is mounted in the back of the car and acts only as a generator, without being linked to the wheels of the automobile. In this case the range goes up considerably to approximately 155 miles. The fuel capacity is about three gallons and the officials at Audi say that the when the rotary is charging the battery, the car will do 124 mpg.

Audi A1 E-Tron Concept

The front wheels of the E-Tron are driven by a 1-stage transmission that is attached directly to the motor. The acceleration is entirely linear due to the fact that the car has no gears. Inside the car, the shifter allows the driver to choose from one of the D, R, N, Range modes. The latter is used in order to activate the rotary engine, which can be done at any time when the driver wants to, unless for the situation in which the battery is discharged, because at that time the range mode is activated.

The driving feeling of the Audi A1 E-Tron is totally different in comparison to a normal conventional car that uses internal combustion. Although it has a very low amount of power, it launches quite respectably. The powertrain noise is almost undetectable; the driver will only hear the wind and the sound made by wheels that spin on the asphalt. The people over at CarAndDriver.com had the occasion to drive the E-Tron and they said that it has a very direct steering and efficient brakes. If it weren’t for the lack of noise, many of us would say that it is a normal car.

The level of how aggressively the E-Tron recharges under deceleration is fully adjustable by using the wheel-mounted paddles. The choice of the setting is indicated in the modern LCD instrument panel.

Audi is looking towards the future with the hybrid Q5 model and the R8 E-Tron that are due to be unveiled in the future. At the moment Audi manufactured 20 A1 E-Tron concepts that are being tested around Munich. In addition, it will install more and more dedicated charging stations to support their upcoming models.

Source: CarAndDriver.com

Watch out Mini, here comes the Audi A1

The compact city car market is growing by leaps and bounds, Mini was the first to trully capitalise on this new market and surely enough, rivals will seek to challenge the former english brand now owned by BMW. One of the most talked about rivals is Audi’s new A1, which premiered as concept at the Tokyo Motor Show, and now is set to make an appearence at the Paris Motor Show in 5 door concept stage, a version which is more akin to the actual production model which is set to hit the markets in late 2009, early 2010.

Rumours are also reporting that we will see front wheel drive versions, as well as all wheel drive ones, probably using Audi’s proprietary Quattro technology. Also we should expect a top of the range model, S1, which will be powered by one of the latest TSI engines from the VW Group, which holds the Audi brand. Until Paris, we must wait and see what other goodies Audi has in store for us.

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Audi A1 is the new kid on the block

Since we are growing more and more environmentally conscious, Audi is readying its A1 model. It’s a small car, who aims to compete with the Mini. It is thought very important for Audi, but it’s based on a corporate platform, the same as the one used for the new Seat Ibiza and the VW Polo. So in the end you will pay for the trim and badge. It will have an independent back suspension, though.

There will be plenty of engines to choose from, including petrol, diesel and hybrid. The petrol engines will be 1.2 and 1.4 liter, the diesel will be 1.6 and 2.0 liter and the hybrid will be powered by a 1.4 liter petrol and an electric motor.

So let’s hope that the quality will make it a winner over the Mini. We’ll have to wait and see.
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Audi A1 Metroproject Quattro Concept

We knew Audi is preparing a new A1 range that will compete Mini’s Cooper and there have been a lot of renferings and guesses of how it will look like. And now, we finally have an official reaction. Here’s the Audi A1 Metroproject Quattro Concept. Pretty long name for a small car. In its attempt to fight the Mini, Audi created a more “manlier and sportier” car, with the Audi front part we got used to (the concept doesn’t have it, but probably the car will also have the LED frontlights each recent Audi has).

The A1 will probably be available with turbocharged petrol engine, turbocharged diesel engine, ranging in size from 1.2 litres to 2.0 litres. A base model with an 80 horsepower, naturally aspirated 1.4 litre engine is also expected to hit showroom floors.

The Audi Metroproject Quattro concept will be revealed to the public in person at 10:30 a.m. Tokyo time on October 24th, at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show. Production on the Audi A1 is scheduled for 2009 and, with a starting price around $25,000, they hope to sell 80,000 to 100,000 units per year.
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