This is what has to happen for Audi to keep its promises.
Audi E Tron
The press days are finished at the LA Auto Show, but things said there are still making news. While in California, Audi technical development chief Ulrich Hackenberg told reporters that his employer plans to release an electric car with a range of 280 miles "around 2017." Hackenberg wouldn't say what kind of car - or crossover, perhaps - it will be, but one report said it would be "a large car, fitting five large people with ample luggage space." Most observers expect it to be a sedan to take on
The question of whether Audi will morph the next-gen R8 (pictured above, in testing) into a plug-in-hybrid challenger for the BMW i8 may have been answered. CarAdvice, in Australia, is claiming that any plans for a PHV 2016 R8 have been shelved, and that Audi will go ahead with gas-powered or all-electric models, only.
Despite years of researching any number of standard ICE alternatives, it's becoming clear that different automakers are starting to throw their weight behind their advanced-powertrain technologies of choice. For instance, Toyota is gearing up for its first production hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle next year. Nissan continues to preach the gospel of the battery-electric engine. For Audi, plug-in hybrids appear to be the way to go.
Audi could be getting even more diverse with its powertrains for the A6, A8 and Q7, moving beyond offering just gas- and diesel-powered models and adding plug-in hybrid variants of the three luxury vehicles. The report comes from Indian Autos Blog, which spoke to Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's research and design chief, who confirmed the PHVs.
When it comes to gearboxes in battery-electric vehicles, the more may be the merrier. That's one theory, and Plug In Cars says that the standard, single-gear EV configuration may eventually go by the wayside as engineers figure out how to better use multi-gear configurations to improve performance and range. It's an argument we've heard time and time and time again, but the added weight and complexity of a transmission means it's not been a popular choice in real-world used.
Contrary to our October 2012 report, it appears Audi's R8 E-Tron program is back on track, if a report from Australia is to be believed. Drive is reporting that the German brand has changed its mind and won't be sacking the program, despite previously stated concerns about the quality and price of batteries for the R8-based EV.
If you ask Audi about its R8 E-Tron prototype, the all-electric two-seater that was first shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker will tell you that its development program is on hold. Yet, as we reported in January, limited production of the combustion-free coupe may be moving forward... information still officially unconfirmed by the automaker.
Imagine you're a spy shooter at the Nürburgring. You've got your ancient Ford Scorpio parked nearby, but you've hoofed it up to the top of a hill in the hopes of getting the perfect angle on the track. Three heavy cameras are strung about your body like you're a contestant in The World's Strongest Man competition. It's early and you are tired. And cold. The morning temperature was in the single digits Celsius, and while you're not exactly sure what that translates to in the Fahrenheit scale
Audi knows sound, and it wants its upcoming plug-in cars to have as distinctive a grumble as possible, just like its fossil-fuel-burning brethren. That's why Audi engineers are working on "new sound signatures" for future e-tron models. You can tell how seriously Audi is taking this by the way it references the sounds a car makes to music and "emotional sound structures" in the press release below.
Audi knows from sound, and it wants its upcoming plug-in cars to have as distinctive a grumble as possible, just like its fossil-fuel-burning brethren. That's why Audi engineers are working on "new sound signatures" for future e-tron models. You can tell how seriously Audi is taking this by the way it references the sounds a car makes to music and "emotional sound structures" in the press release below.
Audi has dropped the details on seven new technologies it is working on, some of which are still in early development, while others will be on the road within the next few years. They span the spectrum from furthering Audi's commitment to lightening its vehicles through the extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber composite to new infotainment concepts and its continued push for electrification through its e-tron program.
When Audi unveiled the original e-tron Concept at the last Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, a production version seemed to be nothing more than a glimmer in the very distant future. Two years later, it appears that the automaker has made plenty of progress in bringing an electric-powered R8 into the world.
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