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Home » Green Car News » Audi Green Cars

Audi e-tron Spyder sports car

09 October 2010

Audi e-tron Spyder sports car

 

   

One of the real live wires at the 2010 Paris Motor Show will undoubtedly be the Audi e-tron Spyder, a two-seat open sports car study with plug-in hybrid drive capable of delivering 128mpg economy and 59g/km emissions from its 300PS twin-turbo V6 TDI engine and twin electric motors.

The Audi e-tron Spyder’s low total weight of only around 1,450 kilograms, combined with the high-torque TDI and the two electric motors results in impressive performance. The car accelerates to 62mph in just 4.4 seconds, and top speed is electronically governed at 155mph.

The e-tron Spyder can combine the powerful 650Nm torque output of its TDI engine with the 352 Nm developed by its two electric motors during acceleration in a process known as “boosting.”

The intelligent distribution of power allows for optimal dynamics in every situation. The targeted application of power to the front wheels improves longitudinal dynamics while also improving lateral dynamics when cornering. This is because torque vectoring – the ‘on demand’ distribution of torque between the left and right wheels of the two axles – enables an exhilarating degree of driving precision and excellent agility.

Thanks also to its low weight, short wheelbase and perfect 50:50 weight distribution for dynamic handling, the Audi e-tron Spyder has all the drivability of a go-kart – good on bends and neutral right up to the very high handling limit.

The combination of a highly efficient TDI and electric drive also provides for excellent fuel economy and amazingly low emissions. The Audi e-tron Spyder can cover up to 128.4mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km. A range of more than 621 miles is possible with the 50-litre tank.

The open sports car can also drive strictly on electric power and thus with zero emissions over distances of up to 31.07 miles and at speeds of up to 37.28mph – an obvious benefit in urban areas.

The Audi e-tron Spyder features what is without a doubt the most advanced and simultaneously the most consistent evolution of the current Audi design language, while also providing initial hints at the design language of future Audi sports cars. It reinterprets the most important design elements that already characterized the previous e-tron concept vehicles. This also ensures the necessary formal differentiation to the purely electric-powered Audi e-tron shown at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show.

The contrast of materials is reminiscent of a race car. The essential functional elements of the chassis and the vehicle body are done in carbon, while the body as a cover sports a classic paint finish. This illustrates the formal "shell-and-core" principle that defines the e-tron Spyder particularly clearly.

Thanks to an opening in the hood, even the longitudinal TDI mid-engine is a visible technological element surrounded by matt and glossy carbon surfaces, aluminium and leather. This combination of materials links the exterior with the interior of the vehicle.

Behind the seats are two cowls that gradually taper toward the rear and also flank the opening for the TDI engine and the implied cooling fins of the engine cover. They also contain the normally hidden rollover bars, which like in the production R8 Spyder shoot up within milliseconds and lock into place in the event of an emergency.

Engine and transmission

The Audi e-tron Spyder marks the first use of a new generation of the six-cylinder, 3.0 TDI that breathes through two turbochargers and produces 300PS, a 50PS increase on the previous stage, which debuted a few months ago in the new Audi A8.

Peak torque of 650 Newton metres is unusually high, even in the sports car segment. The mid-mounted, longitudinal 3.0 TDI engine drives the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Another innovation is the coupling of the TDI with the electric drive of the front axle. Two asynchronous electric motors with a total output of 64 kilowatts (88 hp) and peak torque of 352 Newton meters combine with the 3.0 TDI to give the Audi e-tron Spyder the performance of a high-performance sports car. It accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed at 155 mph.

The drive’s characteristic is even more exciting than the abstract numbers. Thanks in no small part to the fact that the peak torque of the electric motors is available immediately, the e-tron Spyder accelerates with catapult-like thrust.

The noise level of the low-revving TDI is typically low. The six-cylinder unit behind the occupants issues a sonorously sporty growl under load, but never becomes loud – a surprising effect also present in the Le Mans-winning Audi R10 and R15 race cars, which are also powered by TDI engines.

The benefits of this special form of hybrid drive – the coupling of a high-torque, high-efficiency TDI engine with the electric motors – are by no means limited to the dynamic potential of the Audi e-tron Spyder, however. The open two-seater also sets new standards in its class for fuel consumption and environmental characteristics. The 300PS TDI enables the e-tron Spyder to cover 128.4mpg, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of only 59 g/km.

The full-hybrid Audi e-tron Spyder has also mastered the discipline of zero-emission driving. In residential and other urban areas, the driver can activate the electric drive by itself. The 9.1-kwH battery at the front of the car has enough power for up to 50 31.07 miles. And with a top speed of up to 37.28 miles, the e-tron Spyder is also able to move along smartly in city traffic.

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