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Audi takes plug-in diesel hybrid e-tron Spyder concept, Q5 hybrid to Le Mans

Former Le Mans Winner Frank Biela driving the Audi e-tron Spyder. Click to enlarge.

Audi is presenting the Audi e-tron Spyder concept plug-in diesel hybrid car (earlier post) against the backdrop of “Le Mans vers le futur,” an event held in Le Mans as a venue for manufacturers to showcase innovative drivetrain technologies. Along with the e-tron Spyder, Audi sent an Audi Q5 hybrid quattro (earlier post, earlier post). The production SUV will go on sale before the end of 2011.

In the run-up to the race, the “LeMans vers le futur” demonstration drives took place for the second time since 2010. Both cars are also be on display at the “Le Mans vers le futur” exhibit in the Racing Village next to the Audi Fan Area. The 79th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is being held on Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12.

The Audi e-tron Spyder features two asynchronous electric motors driving the front wheels with a combined 64 kW (87 hp) of power and 352 N·m (260 lb-ft) of torque. In front of the rear axle sits a twin-turbocharged 3.0 TDI, mounted longitudinally in the direction of travel, delivering up to 221 kW (300 hp) of power and 650 N·m (479 lb-ft) of torque, which are funneled to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic. The V6 is currently making its production debut in the A6 Avant.

The three units can operate separately or in unison. The maximum system output is 388 hp, with a maximum system torque of more than 900 N·m (663.81 lb-ft). The lithium-ion battery, located in the front section of the car, stores up to 9.1 kWh of energy. With 400 volts of three-phase alternating current, the battery takes about one hour to charge up at an electrical outlet.

The concept car accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph in 4.4 seconds and reaches an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

Under proposed standard for assessing fuel consumption of plug-in hybrids, it consumes a mere 2.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (107 US mpg) on average and emits just 59 grams of CO2 per km (95 g/mile). In all-electric mode, it has a range of 50 km (31 miles) and a top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). On one fill-up of the 50-liter (13 gallon US) tank, the open two-seater can travel more than 1,000 km (621 miles).

Under normal driving conditions, the drive management system sends 75% of the power to the rear wheels and the remaining 25% to the front wheels. As needed, the system selectively applies the brakes to slow the wheels individually or provides precise, millisecond-long surges of power to specific wheels in order to speed them up, correcting understeer and oversteer.

The electric motors on the front wheels can be activated individually, and a mechanical sport differential distributes the power at the rear. This torque vectoring system marks a new stage of evolution for the quattro drive: the e-tron quattro.

The Audi e-tron Spyder weighs 1,450 kilograms (3,197 lb); its low weight can be attributed primarily to the aluminum body constructed as per the Audi Space Frame (ASF) principle. The engine hood and numerous add-on parts are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The axle load distribution is 50:50.

The front suspension features a double-wishbone construction, with trapezoidal links made of forged aluminum at the rear. The setup is stiff, but offers adequate comfort. The rack-and-pinion steering has an electromechanical drive. The design study is fitted with 20-inch wheels; 245/30 tires up front and 265/30 tires at the rear ensure high lateral acceleration and grip.




Ya gotta love these high tech toys.


A good demonstration of what could be done to reduce liquid fuel consumption while maintaining extreme performances.


consumes a mere 2.2 liters of fuel per 100 km (107 US mpg) on average

That is amazing. The PNGV cars of 1999 got 70 mpg as diesel hybrids, but they could not accelerate as fast and had no where near the top speed of this car.


With an electric only range of 31 miles, a press release should be able to claim just about any MPG they want under proposed standard for assessing fuel consumption of plug-in hybrids.

The Volt gets (got) 230 mpg.



GM claims OnStar data shows Volt't MPG over 1000. Might be possible since first consumers are really electric enthusiast.


Volt drivers are getting 1000 miles between fillups, not 1000 MPG.

The PNGV cars weren't plug-ins, but if they had been, they would have easily beat both this Audi and the Volt. Thank Bush and his oil-mogul buddies for killing PNGV right before we needed it.


PNGV became FreedomCar with fuel cells that we will be driving real soon now :)


If it leads to a PHEV (or even HEV) diesel, it will be well worth it.
If diesels used their ICEs less in heavy traffic, we would all be better off.


You could have had PNGVs, although you would probably not have bought them, just as the 80 mpg VW Lupo 3 L and Audi A2 3L examples showed in Europe. You will never (i.e. in the foreseeable future...) have affordable FreedomCars with fuel cells. Bush did a very good job.


This one is 0.7 sec slower than Tesla Roadster production vehicle in 0-60 acceleration. No surprise really.


If the idea with FreedomCar was to put off any potential solution until far off into the future, then I guess the oil guys succeeded. They had a solution with a diesel hybrids, Toyota and Honda did gasoline hybrids and the rest is history.

You could have had PNGVs
Yes and no. The adiabatic diesels would not have met the new EPA NOx limits, and SCR wasn't in the cards then. However, 60 MPG would have been attainable with turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engines.
although you would probably not have bought them, just as the 80 mpg VW Lupo 3 L and Audi A2 3L examples showed in Europe.
There I think you're wrong. The people who became loyal to Toyota because of the Prius would have bought PNGV cars, especially because they were full-size sedans, not sub-Golf sized like the Lupo. They would have become runaway best-sellers during the oil crunch from 2005-2008. Even more to the point, they would have completely changed the discussion about CAFE and what rules the American auto industry can work with.

I agree, it is hard to prove what would have happened, you can only compare with what DID happen. Toyota went on to create hybrid Camry and Highlander which sell well. When gas was $4 per gallon summer of 2008, I would have felt fine driving my Highlander hybrid getting 30 mpg.


What happened is the Toyota Prius and all the other hybrids, which sell well,
compared to the Rolls-Royce Phantom; i.e.< 5%.

The Prius is the most practical result of the "PNGV" effort, which was evolving toward cars even less practical than the EV1, VW Lupo 3 L and Audi A2 3L.

What kind of logic thinks that a few automakers and/or the US Gov can stop some technology, just by stopping THEIR support.

Just as if I stopped making Hummers for $50,000 and selling for $5000 each, I did not ruin the concept for everyone - it was crushingly stupid to begin with.
If it was a practical, profitable product, there would be makers all over the world.

Who stopped factories from making their own version of the PNGV?

I know; patents on large format concept cars?


PNGV was a partnership between the U.S. government and U.S. automakers from 1995-2000. There was NO commitment on the part of the U.S. automakers to ever produce the cars, it was their choice.

Toyota was not part of the program, but they watched what was going on and acted according to their best interests. No one in the U.S. told them what to do or not do. They just made better choices in the historical perspective.


Both Hybrids are nowhere closed to the dreams the initial eTRONs had generated, nor have any chance to play as the "car of the future" reference in their categories. How can Ausi come with a 9.1 kWh battery and present that as a top gun today ? This is just ridiculous.
We want to see plug in hybrid models with 35-50KWH batteries today, all electric tracting drive train, and a solid range extender on top of that to allow 600KM combined range.
This is just another two 1st gen hybrids forever that are just wasted developpement $. Back to work Audi, stop these non-sense short-termist trials. Return to real eTRON concepts and make us dream of the real EVs of the future again.


One, some or all of the worlds auto makers would be making this dream "runaway best-seller" if it were practical.

They all just made and make better choices in the historical perspective.

The Prius HAS been available through the recent fuel crises and it stays at only 5% of the market (WITH subsidies), not 95%.

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