Audi A1 Etron
Audi A1 e-Tron – Click above for high-res image gallery

German automaker Audi has, once again, claimed the title of overall winner in the Silvretta Electric Car Rally in Austria's Montafon region. The 2011 victory by the A1 e-tron follows the R8 e-tron's win in 2010. The second Audi in the rally, a Q5 fuel cell, finished in sixth place out of 32 vehicles.

After three days and 307 kilometers (190 miles), the A1 e-tron bearing number 206 was named the winner of the second Silvretta Electric Car Rally. The event took place from July 7 to 9 and was held on "highly taxing mountain roads" with inclines up to 15 percent. A1 e-tron driver, Franciscus van Meel, says that:
Sending an electric car into the Alps is one of the toughest challenges you can present it with. The fact that the A1 e-tron proved so impressive here is especially gratifying to me and it proves we're on the right track with our electric mobility approach of combining an electric motor with a combustion engine.
The A1 e-tron's 75-kilowatt electric motor, 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and single-disc, 254-cc rotary engine were apparently enough to propel the range-extended electric to the front of the pack, landing it in the winner's circle. See the complete victory-touting press release after the break.
Show full PR text
Audi A1 e-tron wins Silvretta Electric Car Rally

Audi repeats its 2010 victory in the 2011 Electric Car Rally

"The A1 e-tron succeeds even in the Alps," says Franciscus van Meel, Head of Electromobility Strategy at AUDI AG

Audi believes in electrification without fear of limited range

Audi is this year's overall winner of the second Silvretta Electric Car Rally in Austria's Montafon region. The 2011 victory of the A1 e-tron follows the R8 e-tron's win last year. The second Audi in the rally, a Q5 HFC with a fuel cell finished in sixth place. A total of 32 electric vehicles were evaluated.

After three days, 307 kilometers and a total altitude difference of 11,541 meters, the A1 e-tron bearing the number 206 was named the winner of the second Silvretta Electric Car Rally Montafon. The event took place from July 7-9 as part of the 14th Silvretta Classic. The name Silvretta refers to a group of mountains in the eastern Alps of Austria. The Audi A1 e-tron won against 31 competitors in a rally, that was held on highly taxing mountain roads with inclines up to 15 percent, presenting a special challenge to electric vehicles. The Audi Q5 HFC, which was also entered by Audi, achieved sixth place. This was the best final result of all cars with a fuel cell.

The A1 e-tron contains technology that Audi's development engineers are using to study the mobility requirements for such a future-oriented concept. The technological basis includes an electric motor with a maximum output of 75 kW that is powered by a lithium-ion battery. The battery features a 12 kWh capacity and can be completely charged in 30 minutes (quick charge), or in less than three hours (standard charge). It offers a range of 50 kilometers. To prevent drivers from being stranded by an empty battery, the A1 e-tron also comes equipped with a combustion engine, which can charge the battery as needed. The one-disc rotary engine (254 cc) is located under the trunk floor; it provides 15 kW of output intended solely to charge the battery, rather than to directly power the wheels.

The A1 e-tron is designed with a local emission-free electric drive system, which is ideally suited for driving in a city.

During the rally the A1 e-tron was driven by Franciscus van Meel, Head of Electromobility Strategy at AUDI AG. Long-time Audi employee Gerhard Gruber took on the important role of co-driver. "Sending an electric car into the Alps is one of the toughest challenges you can present it with. The fact that the A1 e-tron proved so impressive here is especially gratifying to me and it proves we're on the right track with our electric mobility approach of combining an electric motor with a combustion engine . Many thanks to our dedicated team for making our second overall victory in a row possible," said van Meel after crossing the finish line.

Van Meel then went on to describe the rally itself: "On the first day we drove cautiously and despite a distance of just over 100 kilometers we finished with a lot of electricity left in the battery. On the second day we were better prepared and we were able to win the day; on day three we came in second, and in the end that was enough to win the overall victory. The car ran flawlessly. We're now looking forward to the 2012 rally. We already have a few ideas about the kind of concepts we'll enter with, of course."