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Mercedes Latest Trying to Tackle Tesla

Planning 311-mile battery vehicle.

by on Sep.08, 2015

Mercedes entered the California battery-car market with the new B-Class Electric Drive.

The list of manufacturers hoping to tackle Tesla with an extended-range battery car has just grown longer, and Mercedes-Benz apparently has more than one model in mind as it tries to outgun the upstart California carmaker.

Along with an assortment of plug-in hybrids, Mercedes’ R&D chief says it is developing a modular platform that, in at least one model, should deliver up to 500 kilometers, or about 312 miles, per charge. Among other makers looking to push into Tesla territory are Audi, BMW, General Motors and Nissan.

Plug In Now!

“We are working on an intelligent concept for a highly attractive electric vehicle with a range of (anywhere from 228 to 312 miles),” Research and Development board director Thomas Weber told the magazine Auto Motor und Sport.

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Audi Powers up the R8 e-tron, Takes Aims at Tesla

Extended-range electric vehicle with supercar performance.

by on Mar.04, 2015

The new Audi R8 e-tron shown on the maker's stage at the Geneva Motor Show. The new 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus is in the background.

Tesla isn’t the only automaker out to prove that battery-cars can deliver serious levels of performance. After a long delay, Audi has revealed an all-electric version of its newly redesigned 2-seat sports car, the R8 e-tron.

Making its debut alongside the new, gas-powered R8, the e-tron tucks a T-shaped lithium-ion battery pack into the sports car’s low body, along with two electric motors. The combination not only can launch from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds, but it can deliver as much as 280 miles of range per charge, nearly triple what most of today’s electric vehicles can manage.

Plug In!

Likely to be priced above the rest of the new R8 line-up, Audi says it will produce a small number of largely hand-built e-trons “upon customer request” this coming year.

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Audi A3 Sportback e-Tron to Be Maker’s First Plug-in Hybrid

But there’ll be plenty to follow, with a diesel plug-in also under development.

by on Mar.07, 2013

Audi's A3 e-tron will be just the first of a planned assortment of plug-ins to come from the maker.

Luxury automaker Audi has taken the first step in what it promises will be a major commitment to plug-in hybrid powertrain technology.

The new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron making its public debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show is being billed as the first in a procession of clean, high-mileage PHEVs the Volkswagen AG luxury subsidiary plans to roll out over the coming years. It marks a shift away from Audi’s earlier interest in pure battery-electric technology, company officials insisting plug-ins better meet the needs of today’s motorists.

(Electric) Power to the People!

Using the most sporty of the compact Audi A3 body styles, the new e-tron offers “the power of two hearts,” proclaimed Rupert Stadler, Audi’s CEO, during a Geneva news conference. There’s a 150-horsepower turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four gasoline engine paired with a 100-horsepower electric motor.

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Audi Unveils New A3 Wagon – But US Version Still Under Wraps

Sedan, not wagon, for America, but US will share etron plug-in.

by on Mar.07, 2012

The new Audi A3 wagon got its debut in Geneva, but it'll be a while before we see the U.S. sedan.

It required an act of aggression to get anywhere near the new Audi A3 during the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show, considering the size of the crowds at the luxury maker’s stands.  But an intrepid effort uncovered a new model significantly updated from the compact luxury car currently in Audi showrooms.

The basic look of the new wagon on display at the PALExpo Convention Center is familiar, with the new Audi A3 sized, overall, about the same as before – though it features a longer wheelbase and more interior space.  But the new car has a more refined and elegant feel, no longer looking like the cheap, throwaway member of the family.

Your Inside Source!

But Americans shouldn’t get too comfortable with the wagon on display.  It likely won’t come to the States, a senior Audi official telling TheDetroitBureau.com that the Volkswagen Group brand has developed an entirely different model for the U.S. that won’t reach showrooms until late in 2013.

“We decided not to take it,” considering wagons simply don’t connect with U.S. buyers, noted Johan de Nysschen, CEO of Audi of America.  Instead, the model coming to the States is a new sedan that “doesn’t share a single body panel with this car.”

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Audi Drops a Battery Car Surprise with A3 eTron

Maker claims no immediate plans for an electric wagon.

by on Nov.28, 2011

The A3 eTron suggests Audi may have big plans for electric propulsion

Automakers typically spend a lot of time and money to promote their latest cars and concept vehicles – but occasionally one sits on the sidelines as sharp-eyed motorists might have discovered at the just-ended L.A. Motor Show.

While the German maker put the emphasis on its next-generation performance models, including the S6 sedan, Audi’s stand at the L.A. Convention Center also featured a battery-electric version of its compact Avant, or wagon, a showcar subtly decaled the A3 eTron.

Your News Source!

Volkswagen’s luxury subsidiary hasn’t tried to hide its interest in electric propulsion, and has confirmed it will launch production versions of the eTron battery cars it has shown, in concept form, on the auto show circuit in recent years – which raised the question of what it might have in mind for the A3 eTron.

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First Look: Audi Urban Concept

Electric drive and 1+1 seating.

by on Aug.10, 2011

Audi's ultra-light Urban Concept will premier at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Taking its etron concept in a new direction, Audi will unveil the new Urban Concept battery car at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show.  The latest in a series of innovative offerings designed to test the limits of high-mileage design, perhaps the most distinctive feature of the carbon fiber prototype is its use of a 1+1 seating arrangement.

Designed for congested urban roads, Audi says the Urban Concept “combines elements of a racing car, a fun car and an urban car into one radical new concept.”

Stay in the Know!

The prototype is assembled out of ultra-light carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, panels; light and strong, many experts believe the material will eventually replace steel if the industry can only figure out how to mass produce it and drive down costs.

The design utilizes offset seating with access through an aircraft-like sliding canopy and tailgate.

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First Look: 2012 Audi e-tron Battery Sports Car

Suddenly, charging up takes on a new meaning.

by on Sep.15, 2009

Can a battery vehicle perform like a gasoline-powered supercar? That's what Audi has set out to prove with the 2012 e-tron.

Can a battery vehicle perform like a gasoline-powered supercar? That's what Audi has set out to prove with the 2012 e-tron.

When Audi says, “Charge,” it means it in more ways than one, if the 2012 e-tron is any indication.  That’s the German maker’s new battery-electric sports car, a low-slung two-seater that promises to deliver performance to match Audi’s gasoline-powered R8 supercar.

The long-rumored BEV made its debut, Tuesday at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, but expect it to return to the show within the next few years, for senior Audi officials promised to put the e-tron into “serial production” by 2012.

Charged Up!

Charged Up!

“This is a genuine, high-performance sports car,” said Audi’s global technical chief, Michael Dick, “and not an austerity concept.”  The latter comment was a thinly-disguised shot at the Volkswagen luxury division’s competitors, many of whom are also planning battery cars of their own, but ones that will deliver limited range, marginal performance and relatively few conveniences.

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