Audi aims to take electric car lead

* Tech to flow into volume cars * Electric sports car on sale next year * Series of e-tron concept cars already revealed...

12 May 2011
Audi aims to take electric car lead

Audi has promised to be the leading manufacturer of premium electric cars by 2020.

It's building an all electric R8 e-tron sportscar, which will be the first of Audi's 'e-tron' range of alternatively powered cars when it goes on sale in late 2012.

'The R8 e-tron is a very important project for Audi because the competence and experience we glean from it will later flow into the large volume production of electric vehicles,' said Franciscus van Meel, head of electric mobility strategy at Audi.

'The expectation is that "e-tron" will become a synonym for advanced electric mobility, just as the term "quattro" today stands for pioneering all-wheel drive.

'We want to be the leading premium manufacturer of electric vehicles by 2020.'

However, the electric sportscar is the only e-tron that Audi has confirmed for production. The car is powered by four electric motors a pair on the front axle and another two on the rear and a lithium-ion battery pack.

Audi says it has a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds and a limited top speed of 124mph. Pulling power is an astonishing 3319lb ft over 10 times the torque produced by the V8 Audi R8. It has a range of 154 miles.

The e-tron story
The car was revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in 2009, and since then Audi has revealed a series of e-tron concept cars. Follow the links below to find out more.

Detroit motor show 2010 Audi e-tron

Geneva motor show 2010 Audi A1 e-tron

Paris motor show 2010 Audi e-tron Spyder

Shanghai motor show 2011 Audi A3 e-tron