30 September 2010
 

Audi e-tron Spyder

Audi e-tron Spyder hybrid goes live in Paris

30 September 2010 | One of the real live wires at the 2010 Paris Motor Show will be the Audi e-tron Spyder, a two-seat open sports car study with plug-in hybrid drive capable of delivering 128mpg economy and 59g/km emissions from its 300PS twin-turbo V6 TDI engine and twin electric motors. The Audi e-tron Spyder's low total weight of only around 1,450 kilograms, combined with the high-torque TDI and the two electric motors results in impressive performance. The car accelerates to 62mph in just 4.4 seconds, and top speed is electronically governed at 155mph.

The e-tron Spyder can combine the powerful 650Nm torque output of its TDI engine with the 352 Nm developed by its two electric motors during acceleration in a process known as 'boosting.'

The distribution of power allows for optimal dynamics in every situation. The targeted application of power to the front wheels improves longitudinal dynamics while also improving lateral dynamics when cornering. This is because torque vectoring (the 'on demand' distribution of torque between the left and right wheels of the two axles) enables better driving precision and agility.

The combination of a highly efficient TDI and electric drive also provides for excellent fuel economy and amazingly low emissions. The Audi e-tron Spyder can cover up to 128.4 mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km. A range of more than 621 miles is possible with the 50-litre tank.

Audi e-tron Spyder

The open sports car can also drive strictly on electric power and thus with zero emissions over distances of up to 31.07 miles and at speeds of up to 37.28 mph.

1.81 meters wide, just 4.06 meters long and only 1.11 meters in height: these are the classic proportions of an open, high-performance sports car. Compared to the coupé concept car in Detroit, the length and width have increased by 13 cm and 3 cm, respectively, to underscore the sporty aspiration of the design. This further enhanced the powerful and compact overall appearance that characterizes both vehicles and links them to the sportiest production Audi, the R8.

In an apparent homage to motor sports, the frameless side glass surfaces taper downward toward the rear. They form a unit with the windshield, which is strongly bowed and inclined like the visor of a helmet.

Another element borrowed from race cars characterizes the bonnet: the wide central air inlet, whose curve further accentuates the dynamics of the car's front end and provides a visual and functional link to the Audi R8 LMS customer race car. The carbon application that is mounted flush in the front and side windows and wraps completely around the glass testifies to the design and manufacturing expertise that went into the car.

Audi e-tron Spyder

The silhouette of the e-tron Spyder is characterized by a sharp, sweeping line that immediately identifies the two-seater as an Audi. The sharply tapered front end lends the Audi e-tron Spyder show car a distinctly wedge-like basic shape. The trapeze of the single-frame grille dominates the distinctly wedge-shaped front end and is flanked by two large air intakes. They serve as cooling intakes for the electric drive system and also for the TDI engine at the rear of the vehicle.

Another distinctive feature of this show car are the 20-inch wheels, that take the blade design of the first e-tron show car and refine it into a three-dimensional turbine design. The wheels combine the lightweight materials aluminum and carbon into a design that is both visually pleasing and very effective aerodynamically. The 66 individual components comprising each individual wheel of the e-tron Spyder are indicative of just how complex they are.

Thanks to an opening in the hood, even the longitudinal TDI mid-engine is a visible technological element surrounded by matt and glossy carbon surfaces, aluminium and leather. This combination of materials links the exterior with the interior of the vehicle.

The slim dash has a curve that extends laterally into the door panels. With no need to allow for a transmission, shifter and cardan tunnel, the designers again took advantage of the opportunity to create a particularly slim and lightweight centre tunnel and convex, arching center console for the e-tron Spyder with hybrid drive. The only control element other than that of the MMI is the flush-mounted selector lever for the automatic transmission, which extends upward from the tunnel when the vehicle is started.

Audi e-tron Spyder

Instead of the classic instrument cluster, the concept car is equipped with a large display with integrated MMI functions and flanked by two round dials. The MMI can be controlled via a touch-sensitive control panel on the steering wheel – an element inspired by modern smartphones. It can also be controlled via the MMI control unit (MMI touch) on the centre console. The steering wheel itself is clearly flattened off at both the top and bottom, in a clear reference to motor sport. Speed is displayed in digital form only. The dial instrument with information about the drive system can be chosen via the menu item 'Drive.'

Characteristic for the concept of the Audi e-tron Spyder is the near total elimination of switches and components such as the ignition. The climate control unit is located to the right above the steering wheel. The display provides temperature and ventilation information. Again drawing inspiration from a smartphone, the system is operated by means of a touch-sensitive control panel.

Systematic lightweight construction is a crucial prerequisite for efficiency and range, while also being the primary foundation for exhilarating driving dynamics. The Audi development engineers drew on the core competence of the company for the Audi e-tron Spyder. The body structure is based on Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology and was realized as a hybrid construction, with the hood and numerous aerodynamic components made of carbon.

In ASF technology, the body's supporting structure is made of extruded aluminium sections and die-castings. Aluminium panels are incorporated into this skeleton to form a positive connection and perform a load-bearing role. Each individual component of the ASF space frame is optimized for its specific task by the use of widely differing shapes and cross-sections, combining maximum stability with minimal weight. Despite the complex drive system layout with two electric motors and their respective drive systems plus the TDI engine, the Audi e-tron Spyder show car only weighs around 1,450 kilograms (3,196.70 lb).

Audi e-tron Spyder Audi e-tron Spyder Audi e-tron Spyder
 
Websitewww.audi.co.uk
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