• Dec 21, 2009
Audi e-tron concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

Will the real torque figure of the Audi e-tron concept please stand up? While the German automaker continues to claim its all-electric concept sportscar manages a stout, locomotive-like 4,500 Nm (3,319.03 pound-feet) of torque, the sleuthing boys at Automobile Magazine weren't buying it, instead coming up with a much more mundane rating of 252 lb-ft of torque after performing some back-of-a-paper-napkin calculations.

It would seem that the real torque figure lies somewhere in between those two estimates, though significantly closer to the lower, unadvertised number: 501.5 lb-ft. That's the total combined output of the four individual electric motors, says Audi. The astronomical 3,319 is the torque as measured at the wheels after being geared down and multiplied. So, why the disparity between the actual torque of the motors and the figure espoused by Audi to the motoring press?

Well, besides the obvious answer that 3,319 lb-ft at the wheels sounds much more impressive, Audi's engineers apparently thought the larger number was more indicative of the actual feeling of all the push generated by the four electric motors when accelerating from a dead stop, as the maximum torque figure is achieved right from zero RPM.

Regardless, using the still-impressive rating of 501.5 lb-ft is, in our opinion, much more accurate and easier to compare with the rest of the automotive field than the seemingly disingenuous 3,319 figure, and it's the number we plan to use when describing the car from this point forward.



[Source: Green Car Advisor]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 25 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      If these motors really are configured to give maximum torque at 0 rpm as is so often parroted by the press then this car is going to suck at the top end.
        • 5 Years Ago
        First of all that is not true, second, why would they use an AC motor in a battery powered car? They use brushless DC.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Something tells me Audi is not waving the hand here. AC motors make a heck of a lot of torque.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Recall there is no gear reduction here. These motors are at the wheels. To get an equivalent SAE torque they would have to make up driveline inefficiencies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      are you nuts, calculating and discussing torque over e-tron instead of driving it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      DC Motors wound with it's windings in series have an infinite speed without any load.The Calculation was wrong obviously, however the instant torque is what whould give the car the sensation of a mutch higher number, compared to a gas engine.I think audi has to invent a new power ball to clean those wheels.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The wheels are awful...however I saw it on the road, being filmed on the PCH, by LA, and it had more regular shoes on, that were actually pretty cool:

      http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/7914/californiatrip518076698.jpg

      http://img109.imageshack.us/img109/586/californiatrip533304291.jpg

      http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/8610/californiatrip523095055.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        Great Pics! That is certainly a sweet looking Electric Car. I'd love to own one!
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      I did some back of the napkin calculations of my own and came to the conclusion that using what I assume is Audi's math a new Miata makes 1913.99 lb-ft of torque.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        @montoym Your figure was more exact than mine. I didn't go an get the exact ratios, mine comes from a mishmash of NB and NC numbers which were close enough for commenter work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        @ Andrew:

        It doesn't have to do with the Miata (or this E-tron) having 4 engines (or motors).

        What happened was that Audi quoted the torque at the wheels rather than at the shaft as is typical. Due to gearing, torque gets multiplied and is significantly higher at the wheel than directly from the engine (or motor).

        This is where HotRodzNKustoms figure came from. Doing the same math as Audi, but applying it to the Miata.

        I did the same and came up with a slightly different figure.

        The Miata makes a max of 140lb-ft. of torque at 5000RPM.
        It has a 1st gear ratio of 3.82:1 (using the 6spd from the Touring model)
        It has a rear axle ratio of 4.10:1

        Multiplying that out, 140 x 3.82 x 4.10 = 2,192lb-ft.

        Since 1st gear is the lowest ratio (numerically highest), that's where the most torque will be found. So, at 5000RPM in 1st gear at full-throttle, you'll be applying 2,192lb-ft of torque to the wheels.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Perhaps you didn't read the article? Does the Miata have *FOUR* (4) engines?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Indeed, just ditch the EV crap and put V12 TDI in it instead. It's not like electricity is green, at least not until there's so many coal/gas power plants and so few solar/wind/water ones.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Hard to trust a company who's CEO speaks against EVs and then makes one. Difficult to believe a CEO who is hawking diesel cars with wild statements about their capability.
        Would you buy a car from a company who stretches the truth with cheap PR tricks?
        Well! maybe...oh what the hey, I'll take an A8!
      • 5 Years Ago
      remember when your gameboy batteries were so low, the power light was very faint and you could only barely play with nosound and low contrast before you knew it would die on you?

      well, that's what electric cars will be like after the $collapse, when people will be too stingy to keep the auto-draining battery charged on their badge-engineered socialized chevy volt derivatives
        • 5 Years Ago
        @IK

        Your tin foil hat is showing...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Fire the moron who thought that mis-quoting the torque figures would be a good publicity stunt.
      • 5 Years Ago
      very good car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I realize it's just CGI - but actually producing those rims would be the dumbest idea ever... imagine cleaning brake dust off 5 billion spokes?
        • 5 Years Ago
        There will be no brake dust, since all braking will be down by the motor :-) (That's a exaggeration of course)

        Actually, unless the car weights like a hummer, or has some race tires, it can't use even 200lb ft of torque at stand still. So what does it matter if it can make a million Nm at stand still? It's all PR BS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        " realize it's just CGI"

        Just CGI? They're on the car now, were on the car a week or so ago in LA. I'm not sure where you go from wheels on a preproduction car to just CGI but i'd like to know what you're smoking.
        • 5 Years Ago
        In person, they aren't as hideous. In fact I actually have respect for the design. They are satin with polished windows not all chrome like photo images suggest. They are quite detailed and would likely cost some serious $$$. I would hate to clean them though and although it sort of lends to the electric car uniqueness, I'd opt for something more mainstream and less conspicuous. I'm sure there's a forged wheel out there that would work perfectly for my tastes...
      • 5 Years Ago
      When I read Dan Neil's review last week, I figured the numbers might change a bit.

      The LA Times review had this to say,
      - "The e-tron has no transmission, only two reduction gears (1:6 ratio in front and 1:7 ratio in rear, owing to the larger wheels on the rear). The gearing is why the car has a nominal horsepower of 313 hp but on-paper torque of 3,319 pound-feet." -

      http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-neil18-2009dec18,0,2974405,full.column

      Using the gear reduction and doing some simple math, 3,319/6 = 553lb-ft and 3,319/7 = 474lb-ft so it makes sense that the figure they provided is around that number.

      I think the high figures provided before made people think that there were no reduction gears. Now that we know better, we can make more sense of it all.
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