Audi Unveils Second Electric Vehicle
German automaker shocks and confuses by unveiling another e-tron.
Audi unveiled its second electric-vehicle concept to a stunned press corps in Detroit at the 2010 North American International Auto Show. Its first battery-powered vehicle, the e-tron, was introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Inexplicably, the smaller "Detroit Show Car" is also called the e-tron, even though it differs significantly from its much larger counterpart. The one common denominator is that both cars are absolutely gorgeous.
Unlike the first e-tron, which is based on Audi's celebrated R8 supercar, the Detroit Show Car e-tron looks nothing like any vehicle from the current Audi lineup. In fact, it looks more like a classic British sports car, with a long hood and short deck.
Compared with the R8-based e-tron, the Detroit Show Car is 250 pounds lighter, tipping the scales at a respectable 2,976 pounds. That's not bad for a gasoline-powered car, and this one has a box of batteries onboard. Two electric motors with a combined power rating of 204 horsepower and a jaw-dropping 1,954 lb-ft of torque provide enough pep to get the 2-seater to 60 mph in less than six seconds.
Audi says the Detroit e-tron should have a range of around 155 miles, which should be enough to get you to work and back without worrying about your lithium-ion batteries dying. Using a special charging station, the car should recharge in around two hours. Using a 220-volt socket would nearly double that time.
So far there's no word on price, but Audi says it intends to bring the second iteration of the e-tron to market. We just don't know when.