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Volkswagen, Audi Expect to “Electrify” Entire Line-Up

Conventional gas models could be dropped in favor of hybrids, plug-ins, battery-electric vehicles.

by on Sep.16, 2015

The Audi e-tron Quattro SUV Concept will be followed by a production model around 2018.

Long focused on high-mileage diesels, Volkswagen and its luxury arm Audi are suddenly getting charged up about battery power. So much so, in fact, that virtually all of the vehicles sold by both the mainstream VW and high-line Audi brands will offer some form of “electrified” options in the near future.

The German brands may even start dropping some conventional gas and diesel models in favor of hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles, officials noted during a series of interviews at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Even sibling brands Bentley and Porsche are getting into the battery act, the former planning a new plug-in SUV, and the sports carmaker coming to Frankfurt with a 600-horsepower performance model.

Plug In!

“Every car will be electrified,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, the board member overseeing technical development at Audi. And while new fuel economy and emissions mandates are factors driving the shift, he also believes that consumers will find the next generation of electrified vehicles attractive and compelling.


Audi Electrifies with e-tron SUV Concept

310-mile range and sports car performance.

by on Sep.14, 2015

The Audi e-tron Quattro concept is meant to give a "foretaste" of the production model coming.

Audi is intent on pulling the plug on Tesla, and it is showing off a new battery SUV concept that could prove faster and deliver better performance than the new Model X electric utility vehicle the California carmaker will launch in the coming months.

Technically, the Audi e-tron Quattro debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show is a concept vehicle, but the German maker quickly noted that it is meant to serve as a “foretaste of the production version” to come by “early 2018.”

We Keep You Plugged In!

The new model, “combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort,” said Ulrich Hackenberg, the Audi board member in charge of technical development, during a presentation the night before the official opening of the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.


Audi Readying All-Electric, 300-Mile e-tron SUV

Battery-ute could be dubbed the Q6, hints German luxury maker.

by on Mar.10, 2015

Audi offers a tease of what may be called the Q6 e-tron, a 300+ mile range battery SUV..

Barely a week after confirming plans to launch the all-electric R8 e-tron sports car at the Geneva Motor Show, CEO Rupert Stadler reveals the luxury carmaker is working on another pure electric model, this one a new SUV that could be designated the Q6.

A teaser image of the electric SUV was presented Tuesday during a corporate briefing in which Audi officials announced they had “delivered more…than promised,” handily setting a new sales record last year. And Stadler made it clear that with the wealth of new products Audi has coming, it expects to set new records.

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During a briefing, he said Audi will add a new Q1 model at the bottom of its SUV spectrum, with a “sporty Q derivative,” the Q8 set to top the line-up. But perhaps the biggest surprise was the announcement that Audi would add a pure battery-electric sport-utility vehicle early in 2018.


Audi About to Plug in its A3 e-tron

“A realistic glimpse into the future.”

by on Feb.21, 2013

The Audi A3 e-tron will deliver about 30 miles per charge, with a tentative rating of over 150 MPG-e.

Audi will move a big step closer to launching its battery-powered sub-brand when it reveals the new A3 e-tron at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.

Like many of its key competitors, the luxury maker has been toying with a variety of electric drivelines, from conventional hybrids up to pure battery drive, but it appears to be ready to place its chips on plug-in hybrid power as offering the right balance of price, range and performance.

(Electric) Power to the People!

The March 5th debut of the Audi A3 e-tron at Geneva’s PALExpo Center “will provide a realistic glimpse into the future of mobility as Audi is planning it. The electrification of the drivetrain, above all using plug-in technology, plays a deciding role in the strategy of the brand,” according to an advanced statement describing the new model.


Closer Look: Audi A2 Concept

Audi takes aim at BMW’s new i3 battery car.

by on Sep.07, 2011

The Audi A2 Concept is aimed to challenge the new BMW i3 urban micro battery car.

After providing some initial renderings of its new A2, the folks at Audi have decided to go all-out – almost – and provide more complete images and a few more details about the new battery minicar making its debut at the Frankfurt  Motor Show next week.

As we earlier noted, American motorists are used to equating price with pounds and inches.  The bigger and heavier the better.  But Europeans recognize that good things often come in small packages.  And with fuel prices surging to nearly $10 a gallon in some Continental markets there’s growing demand for small luxury cars like the Audi A2.

Designed to Impress!

What Europeans have lagged behind on is the adoption of hybrid technology.  Diesels have long been the fuel-efficient powertrains of choice.  But, with government regulators there pushing for numbers that will approach 100 mpg in not that many years, there seem to be few options but for automakers like Audi to accept the need for electrification.

After initially holding back on details, the maker has now confirmed that the Audi A2 Concept will feature an all-electric driveline that appears to position the anticipated production version as a response to the upcoming i3 battery-electric vehicle, or BEV.

The cutaway shows a flexible interior package.

The Audi minicar features an 85 kW, or 116 horsepower, electric motor.  With 199 lb-ft of torque, it should deliver a reasonably impressive launch feel — hitting 0 to 60 in about 9 seconds and topping out at 93 mph – thanks to the extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum, much like the BMW i3.  The total package weighs in at around 2,535 pounds, Audi reports.

The lithium-ion powerpack will need about 4 hours to charge on a 240-volt line and is expected to deliver about 125 miles range before running out of juice.

Measuring just over 12 feet, bumper-to-bumper, Audi describes the four-seat A2 Concept as a “premium-class space concept.”  It’ll be a trick to pull that off considering the comparably-sized Mini Cooper fits four but just barely, despite its own innovative interior layout.

An 85 kW electric motor should launch the lightweight A2 Concept from 0 to 60 in 9 seconds.

There is a more than subtle similarity in exterior design to Audi’s Q5 crossover, with a strong character line linking headlamps and taillights.  That’s actually a functional part of the new car’s design, with the line made up of red LED lamps that pulsate when the turn signal is activated and flash in varying intensity to indicate how hard the driver has stomped onto the brake pedal.

The high-tech lighting also includes new matrix-beam headlamps that use reflectors to concentrate the power of the A2’s LED lights. In the rear, laser diodes can project a red triangle onto the road to warn oncoming traffic when the vehicle is stopped.

An initial rendering of the A2.

Meanwhile, Audi takes keyless entry a step further with a proximity sensor designed to recognize an authorized driver.  Hand motions can then be used to unlock the doors.

Inside, passengers won’t feel so claustrophobic thanks to the sweeping panorama of glass – which includes an electrochromic roof that can switch from dark to transparent with the touch of a button.

A 7-inch LCD display provides critical driver information, framed by the steering wheel, with smaller displays offering additional controls and data.  Most vehicle functions can be operated by touch using controls on the inside of the wheel.

The BMW i3 (foreground) and i8.

The thin seats can all be moved – - or removed – as necessary, and even fold up to provide additional storage space.

While many of the features of the new Audi A2 Concept aren’t likely to find much use off the show stage it appears the German marque is serious about the production opportunities.  While there might be a more conventional powertrain in the plans, as well, Audi’s focus seems to be on coming up with an answer to the battery-based BMW i3, which is set for launch in 2013.  The Audi A2 is reportedly set to follow two years later.