Audi’s Second Electric E-Tron

Audi’s Second Electric E-Tron
The Audi E-Tron that was unveiled at the Detroit auto show
Audi introduced a second electric car prototype in Detroit today, and it’s a family affair. Like the two-seater sports car Audi showed off recently in Frankfurt and Los Angeles, the new concept is also named E-Tron. The automaker is not trying to be confusing, said Michael Dick, a member of Audi’s Management Board, interviewed in Detroit. Audi says that “E-Tron” will be the name for a family of electric cars — hopefully to gain the same kind of resonance as “quattro” and “TDI.”

Mr. Dick describes the Detroit E-Tron as a kind of mini R8, or alternately as the “little brother” of Audi’s other electric E-Tron concept. “It is smaller and lighter than the other E-Tron, and the technical investment is not so great,” he said. “It is completely new, and something of a scaling exercise from the other car.” The new E-Tron, with two electric motors in the rear axle (the other e-tron has four motors), is capable of zero to 62 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, with speed governed at 124 miles per hour. Range is estimated at 155 miles.

Weighing just under 3,000 pounds (with almost 900 pounds of batteries), the aluminum-and-plastic-bodied, rear-wheel-drive concept car has a combined output of 204 horsepower. A big 45-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is behind the passenger compartment and in front of the rear axle.