Audi E-tron Spyder, Flash Drive Car Review

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Audi E-tron Spyder
The Audi E-tron Spyder inexpensive a diesel engine by means of electric motors so as to authority the front wheels.

By: Greg Kable on 10/12/2011

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What is it?

The Audi E-tron Spyder is a four-wheel-drive, plug-in diesel-electric-hybrid concept car primary displayed at previous year's Paris motor show.

The one-off open-top car, liberally at Audi's prototype workshop in Ingolstadt in excess of a era of two months in mid-2010, previews a mid-engine roadster predictable to link the Audi lineup as fraction of ongoing efforts to give the German carmaker by means of a additional sporting profile.

Nothing is bureaucrat now yet, but Ingolstadt officials suggest a manufacture account of the E-tron Spyder by means of a conservative gasoline engine might sit on top of the Audi TT together in place and price, drama as junior Audi R8.

Decisions are existence form complete on come again? arrangement the new car, tipped to be dressed in the person's name R4, determination be feature on and construct Volkswagen Group corporation determination be accountable for its engineering. Suggestions are so as to the R4 determination be twinned by means of the rumored baby Porsche--the so-called 550--with growth probable to be shared recognized by Audi and Porsche. The two are operational jointly on a Q5-based SUV for Porsche recognized beneath the interior operational person's name Cajun.

In concept-car form, the E-tron Spyder is feature approximately a sole aluminum spaceframe, stay an all-carbon-fiber corpse and borrows chassis components as of the TT RS (double-wishbone front suspension) and the R8 (double-wishbone back suspension). Together by means of the layout of the new model, Audi is too by,by means of its newest concept to showcase a new diesel-electric-hybrid powertrain tentatively set to approach eager on view as one of more supposed a few engine options on the substitute for the Q7 due out in 2015.

At 159.8 decrease long, 71.3 decrease broad and 43.7 decrease tall, the E-tron Spyder is 14.6 decrease shorter, 8.6 decrease narrower and 5.6 decrease inferior supposed the R8. By comparison, the TT roadster is 164.5 decrease long, 72.5 decrease broad and 53.3 decrease high. The unique aim heaviness of 3,197 pounds was overshot by 441 pounds, by means of the concept car tipping the scales at 3,638 pounds.

For a one-off concept car, the E-tron Spyder boasts truthfully imposing custom of construct quality--on the outside, at least. Open up its back bodywork, though, and you're reminded it is a prototype. Nestled inside the engine bay is a sea of electric cables and plumbing for the engine. Among a variety of makeshift events is the employment of two door latches to grasp the back bodywork in place.

Power moderator as of a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine use 300 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Additional presentation is ,advertising by a pair of brushless electric motors set up front so as to give 88 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Together, the E-tron Spyder's diesel engine and electric motors produce a joint 388 hp and a mighty 739 lb-ft of torque, but so as to last shape is a small misleading as it is not all obtainable at once, transfer in its place on engine revs.

The reserves of the diesel engine now originally intended to be channeled to the back wheels via a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox situated at the back the engine. However, packaging concerns meant it was replaced by Audi's stepless Multitronic CVT. The pair of electric motors, meanwhile, drive from side to side a single-speed broadcast to the front wheels, a layout construct extra the new Audi part-time four-wheel drive.

Power for the motors is supplied by a 9.1-kilowat-hour battery anxiety on top of the electric motors in the nose of the car. It is lady to provide the E-tron Spyder an all-electric zero-emissions variety of concerning 31 on foot at speeds up to 37 mph. Recharging of the battery occurs via regeneration beneath braking and trailing throttle, and by plugging in to a partition socket.

In joint diesel-electric mode, the E-tron Spyder is theoretically able of hitting 62 mph in now 4.4 place and attainment a top pace incomplete to 155 mph--figures so as to put it recognized by the TT RS and the R8.

However, the E-tron Spyder not merely majors on straight-line speed. It is, in theory at least, too incredibly frugal, by means of a joint city/highway petroleum monetary system of concerning 107 mpg. With a 3.5-gallon petroleum tank wedged in recognized by the cabin and the engine, Audi suggests the car might journey additional supposed 600 on foot on a mixture of together diesel and electric power.

If you find yourself confused by what you've read to this point, don't despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

What is it similar to to drive?

See it up shut absent as of a motor-show place for the primary time, and the one obsession so as to actually hits house is the E-tron Spyder's violent stance. With small in the way of overhangs and substantial width relative to its length, the car has a wonderfully sure appearance so as to is improved by the 245/35 (front) and 265/35 (rear) tires lurking under its enormous wheel houses. It strength be a concept, but separately as of a pair of plan elements, it attention prepared for the showroom.

You enter the cabin from side to side conservative front-hinged doors, armed in excess of a broad sill and dropping downward eager on narrow, low-set seats boasting merely a negligible quantity of padding but a high-quality contract of surface support. The dashboard is a horizontal plane of leather-bound aluminum and carbon fiber. It is terrifically easy in design, eschewing a monitor and switchgear for a spotless and attractive appearance so as to project leader Uwe Haller inappropriately determination be approved on upcoming Audi models.

There's not a lot to sign the E-tron Spyder's possible at what time you shove the hors d'oeuvre button--a momentary whir of electrics as of anywhere ahead, after that silence again. Release the give brake, lightly brush the accelerator and you're away--quietly, smoothly and on electric power alone. A additional strong-minded attempt on the pedal after that prompts the diesel engine to flames by means of a surprising hurry of induction noise followed by a gruff blare of exhaust out back.

It large similar to a concept, construct is a nice way of suggesting there's motionless a way to go preceding to the E-tron Spyder might be careful production-ready. The steering, an electromechanical arrangement as of the A1, is instant of a great deal feel. The carbon-fiber corpse creaks in concert by means of the camber of the road, the front tires rub after that to the in,within of the wheel arches at what time you be relevant additional supposed a twist and semi of lock, and still innocuous-looking driveways require to be approached by means of caution for terror of wiping the ultralow front splitter spotless off.

The top lip of the cut-down speedster-style windshield, construct tapers healthy approximately the dispersal of the car, too obstructs the sight downward the road. The suspension, as,at the same time as controlled, lacks the pliancy to manage by means of still the smallest of bumps. Still, there's amazing concerning the E-tron Spyder, still at 30 mph. The rudiments approximately construct the car was conceived are sound. Its comparatively compact dimension and be small of of overhangs intended you to confidently put it in corners. The feet-out-in-front heavy position, modeled on so as to of the better R8, too endows it by means of a satisfyingly sporting sense so as to is improved by a near-vertical steering wheel.

Urged to press a bit faster, we provide the accelerator a additional thorough nudge, at construct the E-tron Spyder large a lot fewer similar to a brittle concept and additional the sports education car Audi obviously needs it to be. It picks up pace effortlessly on one occasion you've wound a number of meaningful revs eager on the diesel engine--anything additional than 2,000 rpm is sufficient to obvious the close to the beginning lag as of the pair of turbochargers. But by means of a CVT sending drive to the back wheels, there's no go up and drop in the revs as new ratios are introduced, merely a steady drone. As you approach off the power, there's too loud vacuumlike noise as of the turbo wastegates. Nonetheless, it large fast. And the sensations are approximately exclusively sporting.

Even so, we're not concerning to go and shove too hard. First, there's merely one E-tron Spyder in existence, and we drove it on the primary day of a two-week presentation. Second, it's exposed for $2.75 million. But as of a conceptual tip of view, the low-slung two-seater large convincing. The fundamentals are sound--just similar to persons of a junior R8, in fact.

Do I desire one?

There's one main limitation here--you can't buy petroleum Audi. Not yet, at any rate.

Still, Audi is crystal obvious on its intentions, saying it is "actively pursuing tactics for a new sports-car replica hinted to by the E-tron Spyder concept." If the spectacularly styled, mid-engine two-seater fake get the go-ahead, stay for it to shape fraction of a joint business enterprise project by means of Porsche.

Audi sees its new sports education car a great deal as a baby brother to its headlining R8 and suggests additional conception, manufacturing and growth determination be handled by its Quattro division, construct on present shape is huge information for performance-car fans.

But by means of events motionless to be complete on consequences the new Audi determination be feature approximately an aluminum spaceframe similar to so as to of the concept driven at petroleum time or a fewer luxurious steel-based monocoque platform supposed to be favored by Porsche, it won't probable go on sale awaiting 2015 at the earliest.

There too are path concerning now construct heavy we might stay for to see in a manufacture account of the E-tron Spyder concept, though Haller is filled of eagerness for the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine as of the TT RS, construct is high-quality for 340 hp in its normal condition of tune. That's the kind of eagerness we like.

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