September 15, 2009

Audi e-tron - 4 motors, 1 battery and 3,319 lb-ft of torque!

Those with a passion for torque were disappointed when it became clear that Audi was unlikely to ever build a production version of the R8 V12 TDI that was shown at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. Now the automaker has come back with a new R8-based concept that puts the diesel to shame. The new e-tron packs four electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack with a fairly tame-sounding 313 hp but an insane 3,319 lb-ft of torque. The run to 62 mph takes 4.8 seconds, but rolling acceleration from 37-75 mph takes just 4.1 seconds thanks to the e-tron's massive amount of twist.

While acknowledging that electric vehicles are still far from economically viable volume production vehicles, Audi is nonetheless working on electric technology, both for hybrids and pure EVs. The pack sports a 53kWh capacity of which 42.4 kWh is usable. The pack weighs in at 1,036 pounds out of a total vehicle weight of 3,527 pounds and is mounted ahead of the rear axle and liquid cooled. Each of the axles sports two electric motors allowing the e-tron to retain Audi's signature quattro all-wheel drive. The e-tron has an estimated range of 154 miles on the EU combined driving cycle and you can read more about it in Audi's official press release after the jump.

Frankfurt – Audi presents the highlight of the IAA 2009: the e-tron, a high-performance sports car with a purely electric drive system. Four motors – two each at the front and rear axles – drive the wheels, making the concept car a true quattro. Producing 230 kW (313 hp) and 4,500 Nm (3,319.03 lb-ft) of torque, the two-seater accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and from 60 to 120 km/h (37.28 – 74.56 mph) in 4.1 seconds. The lithium-ion battery provides a truly useable energy content of 42.4 kilowatt hours to enable a range of approximately 248 kilometers.

The performance figures are by no means the only evidence of the consistent and holistic strategy. The design makes it clear that the e-tron belongs in the major leagues of sports cars, and the package takes into account the specific realities of an electric vehicle. The battery is directly behind the passenger cabin for an optimal center of gravity and axle load distribution.

The e-tron is able to freely distribute the powerful torque of its four electric motors to the wheels as required. This so-called torque vectoring allows for dazzling dynamics and an undreamed-of level of agility and precision when cornering.

Audi has taken a new and in some cases revolutionary approach to many of the technical modules. A heat pump is used to efficiently warm up and heat the interior. The drive system, the power electronics and the battery are controlled by an innovative thermal management system that is a crucial component for achieving the car's range without compromising its high level of interior comfort. Networking the vehicle electronics with the surroundings, which is referred to as car-to-x communication, opens new dimensions for the optimization of efficiency, safety and convenience.

The Concept

Electric drive systems are still very much outsiders. The first vehicles of this type took to the roads around 1900, yet in 2009 no volume car manufacturer has a car powered exclusively by batteries in its lineup. Fewer than 1,500 electric vehicles are currently registered in Germany, corresponding to only 0.035 percent of all registered vehicles.

Yet electric driving potentially offers numerous advantages. Electric cars reduce the dependence of transportation and the economy on the raw material petroleum. They produce no direct exhaust emissions and thus ease the local burden on the environment. Electric drive systems are also significantly more efficient than combustion engines, consequently making them easier on the customers' wallets. Other strengths include sportiness and the fun they bring to driving. All of the torque is essentially available the moment the driver steps on the accelerator, allowing for breathtaking acceleration.

There is still a lot of work to do before electric cars are ready for volume production, however. The greatest challenge is the integration of the energy storage system. Acceptable range and performance requires a traction battery that is heavy and takes up a lot of space. Audi is taking a new approach to offset these disadvantages – a holistic approach with a specific vehicle package, a systematic lightweight construction concept and an optimal configuration of all components for the electric drive.

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Sandeep September 16, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

good i think very good for our earth's health


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