Audi e-tron Detroit Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery
At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Frank van Meel, Audi's head of electromobility strategy, said that the firm is fond of the idea of a battery-powered car that "goes off like a catapult." Meel told Automotive News (sub. req.) that Audi is looking for "more or less the 'Wow!' effect" to prove that electrics can be "cool" and don't necessarily have to be drab little golf carts.
Lightning-fast electric cars like the Audi R8-based e-tron are sure to grab headlines (for proof, see: Tesla Roadster), but even Audi admits that a more conventional battery-powered auto will be needed to round out the automaker's electrified lineup. That's where a vehicle like the A1 e-tron concept could slot in.
Though Audi has not committed to launching the A1 e-tron just yet, the automaker does refer to it as "a near-series production vehicle," which leads us to believe that the A1, while not as "wowing" as the R8-based e-tron, could quickly become the vehicle that balances out Audi's electrified lineup.