E100-capable Audi A5 prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

When we saw an Audi A5 quattro with the words "Ethanol E100" at the Challenge Bibendum in Rio de Janiero recently, we knew it was something unusual. It was so different, in fact, that it's taken Audi PR until today to get back to us and tell us exactly what we were looking at.

it's not that surprising that a car at a green transportation event in Brazil burns ethanol, but the fact that it can use nothing but the biofuel is a bit surprising. Audi does offer some flex-fuel models, most notably the A4 and A4 Avant in Germany, and has tested E85 in the A5 in the past, but this is the first modern E100 Audi vehicle that we know of. Here are some key numbers about the pure ethanol-burning A5:
  • Engine 2.0 TFSI 132 kW (180 PS), 320 Newton-meters of torque
  • Manual 6-gear quattro transmission
  • 0-100 kilometers per hour in 6.9 seconds
  • Top speed: 236 km/h (146 miles per hour)
  • Weight: 1,310 kilograms
The car officially consume 9.9 liters per 100 km (24 mile per gallon U.S.) when running on ethanol, but drivers managed 9.5 l/100 km (25 mpg) on ethanol during the Michelin Chalenge Bibendum Rallye.

Photos copyright ©2010 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Audi]

Our travel and lodging for this media event were provided by Michelin.


Audi successful at Michelin Challenge Bibendum

· A5 lightweight prototype clinches overall victory in the eco rally
· Design award for the high-performance electric sports car Audi e-tron
· Audi strategy for the future shape of mobility confirmed

Audi has made a successful start to the Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2010. Right at the start of this forum for sustainable mobility in Rio de Janeiro, the brand with the four rings recorded two victories. Audi is very proud of these two main prizes – overall victory in the rally with the lightweight A5, and the design award for the Audi e-tron electric sports car. The standard version of the A3 1.6 TDI, the brand's third model in the Challenge Bibendum, also put in an outstanding performance. Audi interprets these successes as confirmation of its strategy for the future shape of mobility.

Audi's lightweight A5 clinched overall victory in the eco rally over a distance of 350 kilometers (217 miles). The race involving a field of around 80 participating vehicles is the showcase competition of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum; it formed the first highlight of the five-day forum. The prototype was also in the leading group in the individual categories CO2 emissions, overall emissions, efficiency, acceleration and handling. Thanks to its mainly aluminum body, the lightweight A5 weighs just 1,310 kilograms (2,888 lb). Its 2.0 TFSI engine developing 132 kW (180 hp) is also designed to run on bioethanol, which is very popular in South America.

The Audi e-tron, the second vehicle entered in the competition by Audi, won the design award. The electrically powered high-performance sports car, which immediately became the star of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, proved its efficiency and took one of the top places in each of the categories CO2 emissions and overall emissions. With 230 kW (313 hp) from its four electric motors, the e-tron is an ultra-dynamic Audi. Its lithium-ion battery makes 42.4 kWh of usable energy available – enough for an operating range of about 248 km (154 miles).

Finally, the standard Audi A3 1.6 TDI developing 77 kW (105 hp), the brand's third candidate, was also very successful. It was consistently among the best entrants in the four criteria CO2 emissions, overall emissions, noise and handling.

The Michelin Challenge Bibendum was first held in 1998, since when it has become established as one of the world's most important forums in the domain of sustainable mobility. Audi already emerged as overall winner on one previous occasion, in 2007, when the competition was held in Shanghai.

This year the Challenge is visiting South America for the first time and will run from May 30 to June 3. Some 5,000 participants from 80 countries have traveled to Rio de Janeiro. The central focus of the event is formed by the test drives involving around 150 eco models. These are accompanied by round table meetings, themed discussions and a major exhibition.

AUDI Group sold around 950,000 cars in 2009. The Company posted revenue of €29.8 billion and an operating profit of €1.6 billion. Audi produces vehicles in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Györ (Hungary), Changchun (China) and Brussels (Belgium). Aurangabad in India saw the start of CKD production of the Audi A6 at the end of 2007 and of the Audi A4 in early October 2008. The Company is active in more than 100 markets worldwide. AUDI AG's wholly owned subsidiaries include AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft., Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A. in Sant'Agata Bolognese (Italy) and quattro GmbH in Neckarsulm. Audi currently employs around 58,000 people worldwide, including 45,500 in Germany. Between 2010 and 2012 the Audi Group is planning to invest around €5.5 billion in order to sustain the Company's technological lead embodied in its "Vorsprung durch Technik" slogan. By 2015, Audi plans to significantly increase the number of models in its portfolio to 42.

Audi has long been fulfilling its social responsibility on many levels – with the aim of making the future worth living for generations to come. The basis for Audi's lasting success is therefore formed by environmental protection, the conservation of resources, international competitiveness and a forward-looking human resources policy. One example of AUDI AG's commitment to environmental issues is the newly established Audi Environmental Foundation

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