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Audi e-tron
Concept has four electric motors and a single battery pack

The world of electric and hybrid vehicles is progressing and growing at a rapid pace. While most people still think of hybrids and electric vehicles as low performance machines, there are an increasing number of high-performance electric vehicles being unveiled.

The first high performance EV was the Tesla Roadster with good performance thanks to the impressive torque of the electric motor. Audio has unveiled its latest concept car at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt called the Audi e-tron which just so happens to look like an electrified Audi R8.

The most impressive feature of the concept isn’t just its all-electric power train, but its tremendous amount of torque. Audi claims that the e-tron has a torque rating of  3,319.03 lb-ft. All that torque is generated by four individual electric motors situated at each wheel allowing the vehicle to be all-wheel drive.

The car has a total of 313 HP and promises to hit 60 mph in about 4.8 seconds. A more impressive number is that the car can go from about 37 mph to 74 mph in only 4.1 seconds. The all-electric range for the lithium-ion battery pack is 154 miles.

The EV is a large beast at 3,527 pounds and it measures in at 74.5-inches wide x 167.72-inches long and 48.43-inches tall with a wheelbase of 102.36-inches. The massive single battery pack alone weighs 1,036 pounds.

"We are trying to find a concept that requires no compromises," says Michael Dick, Member of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, Technical Development. "Electromobility means more to us than just electrifying conventional cars. Instead, we are dedicated to a holistic approach to all aspects of the topic."

Audi's American President called potential Volt buyers idiots not long ago and then quickly claimed he forgot what he said. There was only speculation surrounding the Audio EV concept at the time the comments were made.

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RE: <Drool>
By scrapsma54 on 9/15/2009 1:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
The limited slip differential does its job to the best it could do, but as software gets better and better, I can only see that having an independent motor system (if they are independent) can only be safer since on the fly failure detection is possibility.
If it isn't independent drive train, then failure of one motor isn't so bad, but I would imagine all that uneven torque would twist the body.

RE: <Drool>
By MrBlastman on 9/15/2009 1:58:46 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, the technology could be nifty indeed. I'd rather the car manufacturers stick to KISS (Keep it Stupid Simple) though if at all possible--doing so reduces potential time in the shop for repairs and maintenance.

Remember, just because it is electrical rather than mechanical does not make it less prone to faults. I remember our families 82 Cadillac Seville (leave out American car jokes), it was cutting edge with all the latest electronic gadgets and gizmos. The thing was always breaking down, and about 80% of the time it was due to electrical related malfunctions.

The more complex you make something, the more prone it is to being problematic. Sometimes a simple but practical design is better than a complex and elegant one.

In this car's case, it isn't twisting the body that is the problem if one engine were to fail, it is what happens to the weight distribution due to the uneven power output. If you're in a tight turn pushing the limits, any unintended change in weight bias to the traction can lead to potentially awful results. This is why autocross/track racing is so fun and exciting at the same time. There's a lot more to it than just turning your wheel and stepping on the gas. Throttle control is equally as critical as when you turn or brake.

RE: <Drool>
By rcc on 9/15/2009 2:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you're running a standard IC powered car and you get into the same situation, pressing hard in the turns, and your engine sputters or dies at the wrong time, you are in the same boat, or ditch.

RE: <Drool>
By Mr Perfect on 9/15/2009 2:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
Electric drive might make that bit more complex, but I bet the rest of the car's systems will get a lot simpler. There probably won't be an alternator/starter, fuel pump, separate brake system, transmission(?), driveshaft and maybe even no radiator/cooling loop.

It's not that ICEs are simple, they're just routine. :)

RE: <Drool>
By Spuke on 9/15/2009 3:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
There probably won't be an alternator/starter, fuel pump, separate brake system, transmission(?), driveshaft and maybe even no radiator/cooling loop.
LOL! Yeah those parts are SOOOOO complex. Sorry but the simplest thing in an electric car will be the motors themselves. Everything else will require a EE degree.

RE: <Drool>
By TomZ on 9/15/2009 4:49:31 PM , Rating: 3
The motors are also pretty sophisticated - probably also requires an EE degree to understand as well.

RE: <Drool>
By Spuke on 9/17/2009 1:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
The motors are also pretty sophisticated
What's sophisticated about a bunch of wires?

RE: <Drool>
By scrapsma54 on 9/15/2009 8:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I think the cooling part might be necessary, It does take a lot more to burn, but once those cells start boiling the whole car is going to be melted into the cracks on the road even if you extinguish the flames or not, lithium can self ignite in water.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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