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Audi Introduces e-tron Spyder Concept Plug-in Diesel Hybrid Sports Car

Audi e-tron Spyder. Click to enlarge.

Audi introduced the e-tron Spyder, a study of an open sports car with plug-in hybrid drive, at the Paris Motor Show. The two-seater is equipped with a 221 kW (300 hp) twin-turbo V6 TDI at the rear axle and two electric motors producing a total of 64 kW at the front axle.

The Audi e-tron Spyder requires on average just 2.2L diesel/100 km (107 mpg US), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km (95 g/mile). A range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) is possible with the 50-liter (13.21 gallons US) tank. A 9.1 kWh battery supports an all-electric range of up to 50 kilometers (31 miles). The top speed in this mode is 60 km/h (37 mph).

The engine develops up to 650 N·m (479 lb-ft) of torque; the two motors deliver a combined 352 Nm (260 lb-ft). The Audi e-tron Spyder can accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds; top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155 mph).

This marks the first use of a new generation of the six-cylinder, 3.0 TDI that breathes through two turbochargers and produces 221 kW (300 hp)—50 hp more than the previous stage, which debuted a few months ago in the new Audi A8. The mid-mounted, longitudinal 3.0 TDI engine drives the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The normal distribution of the tractive power is biased toward the rear axle in accordance with the weight distribution of the e-tron Spyder and the dynamic shift in axle load during acceleration. Similar to with a pure mid-engine sports car, roughly 75% of the torque goes to the rear and 25% to the front. If an axle slips, this balance can be varied thanks to the central control of the entire drive system in combination with the ESP. The concept thus enjoys all of the advantages of quattro technology.

The combination of the mid-mounted TDI engine and the two electric motors at the front axle also make it possible to intelligently control the lateral dynamics of the e-tron.

Similar to what the sport differential does in conventional quattro vehicles, torque vectoring—he targeted acceleration of individual wheels—makes the e-tron Spyder even more dynamic while simultaneously enhancing driving safety. Understeer and oversteer can be corrected by not only targeted activation of the brakes, but also by precise increases in power lasting just a few milliseconds. The concept car remains extremely neutral even under great lateral acceleration.

The body structure is based on Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology and was realized as a hybrid construction, with the hood and numerous aerodynamic components made of carbon. In ASF technology, the body’s supporting structure is made of extruded aluminum sections and die-castings. Aluminum panels are incorporated into this skeleton to form a positive connection and perform a load-bearing role. Each individual component of the ASF space frame is optimized for its specific task by the use of widely differing shapes and cross-sections, combining maximum stability with minimal weight.

Despite the complex drive system layout with two electric motors and their respective drive systems plus the TDI engine, the Audi e-tron Spyder show car only weighs around 1,450 kilograms (3,197 lbs).

The trapeze of the single-frame grille dominates the wedge-shaped front end and is flanked by two large air intakes which serve as cooling intakes for the electric drive system and also for the TDI engine at the rear of the vehicle.



"The Audi e-tron Spyder requires on average just 2.2L diesel/100 km (107 mpg US), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 59 g/km (95 g/mile)." great.

Thomas Pedersen

Sweet - but overkill if you ask me. Let the rich sportscar drivers pay for the first experience with Li-Ion batteries and production ramp-up costs and then the rest of us can enjoy more suitable PHEVs a couple of years down the line.

PS. CO2 emission from EV-mode: 601* g/kWh*9.1 kWh / 50 km = 109 gCO2/km

*US electricity production 2008: 2477 GT CO2, 4,12 TWh, source:

Diesel drive: 1000 km with 50 l => 5.0 l/100km, corresponding to 131 gCO2/km


We fail to see the "green" value in this car. It is a 6 cylinder 300HP sports car requiring petroleum oil to drive even one mile. IF the concept can deliver a real MPG of 100+ it is impressive and yet another step toward lowering oil demands.

BUT if you want a real sports car that is green - nothing touches the Tesla Roadster. Spider does 0-62 MPH in 4.4 seconds. Roadster in 3.7 seconds (0-60) without using a drop of oil or emitting ANY real pollutants or CO2.

As we all know it is only a "concept" and therefor vaporware until proven different.


We need action that will help reduce imported oil without spending a lot and will be widely adopted in a short period of time. We import much more oil that 30 years ago, but all we have had is talk.


Wait, seriously? Ya'll are complaining? Granted the whole 50 more hp is the same old nonsense about having to increase hp every year to keep people interested - something that will hopefully die out soon (how fast do you really need to merge into freeway traffic or accelerate from that stop light to reach the 35 mph speed limit? It's not like the majority of performance car enthusiasts get anywhere near the autobahn.). The 50hp gain would be better applied towards getting this level of efficiency with less expensive components.

Still, this is a VERY impressive level of fuel efficiency, coupled with very low particulate emissions.

Also, in regards to the Tesla and other performance EVs, they are only carbon-free at the tailpipe on the West Coast. Most of the rest of the country is still burning coal (or worse, lignite) for electricity. An efficient gas or diesel engine would be (depending on the study you review) either better or roughly comparable to a BEV's net emissions.

The Goracle


SJC said: We need action that will help reduce imported oil without spending a lot and will be widely adopted in a short period of time.

I agree!!! This is why we have the federal Department Of Energy.

The Department of Energy was formed after the oil crisis on August 4, 1977 in order to end the United States dependence on foreign oil. President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation - The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (33 years ago).

Today, the Department of Energy's 2010 budget request is $26.4 billion.

The Department of Energy employs 16,000 federal workers (2009) and 93,094 contractors (2008).

So, after 33 years, hundreds of thousands of employees, and tens of BILLIONS of tax dollars spent every year, how has the Department of Energy done with their original charter? Obviously 33 years is not enough. Or they need 200,000 employees rather than 100,000, plus, employees. Yea BIG GOVERNMENT!!!!



The Goracle sounds a solemn note.

@DD - "An efficient gas or diesel engine would be (depending on the study you review) either better or roughly comparable to a BEV's net emissions."

NO DD. Grok this: majority oil ALWAYS comes from a foreign source today. Buying that oil is bankrupting the nation. At least coal and NG are domestic resources - helping keep dollars at home. Oil burning ICE vehicles maintain the addiction to foreign oil. IF high MPG dream cars were designed to burn biofuels - there might be greater acceptance.

Read a poll. NO ONE cares about (CO2)emissions - it's real pollution like this:

"Air quality in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate due to emissions from the southern Chinese factory belt over Hong Kong's northern border and local emissions from power generators and transport."


I think people like the idea of domestic fuel and cleaner air. Commuting will probably be with us for quite a while, but progress can be made there are well. Using natural gas to make methanol locally reduces the transportation logistics. Oil imported in tankers, refineries filling tanker trucks that make long trips to fueling stations all add to cost, complexity, congestion, danger and delays.


Why is there always this assumption that hydrocarbon fuels will need to be sourced from fossil derived oil, when there are clearly other opportunities such as bio-mass and synthesis of other materials and chemicals including CO2 (see post relating to Joule Energy and also the DirectFuel initiative just started this month in Europe)? Maybe its the EV facists at it again?

The key message - this is diversity of supply. EV and liquid fuels will both have a role for road transport with a 'suitable for use' agenda. Not an either/or agenda which would be dangerous.


We may get to a point in the future where people say that it was foolish to just let CO2 into the atmosphere from coal fired power plants, when there are so many better uses for it.

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