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Volkswagen Group brings new Audi and Porsche EV concepts, Volkswagen PHEV concept to Frankfurt; 20 more plug-ins by 2020

At Volkswagen AG’s Group Night preview Monday of what will come on Tuesday at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi unveiled its MLB evo (second-generation MLB)-based e-tron quattro battery-electric vehicle (earlier post); Porsche rolled out the Mission E, its first battery-electric four-seat sports car which offers a 500 km (311 mile) range (and an 800V system); and Volkswagen introduced the new production MQB-based Tiguan, including a Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid electric model concept.

During his concluding remarks at the Group Night event, Volkswagen Group Chairman Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn said that “The Porsche Mission E and the Audi e-tron quattro concept are nothing less than a quantum leap for our industry”—both vehicles have an all-electric range of 500 kilometers (311 miles). He went on to say that the new Volkswagen Tiguan GTE embodies “our determination to systematically take the plug-in hybrid to further classes and segments.

Winterkorn also announced that Group companies would introduce 20 more electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020—from compact cars to the next Phaeton and Audi A8. “No commitment to electro-mobility can be any clearer than that.” He said the Group already had the broadest plug-in fleet in the automobile world.


Audi e-tron quattro. Audi will present an all-electric, luxury-class sport SUV in early 2018. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept provides a preview of the production battery electric SUV planned for early 2018, said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development.

The Audi e‑tron quattro concept uses three electric motors: one electric motor drives the front axle, the two others act on the rear axle. Total output is 320 kW. The driver can even mobilize 370 kW and more than 800 N·m (590.0 lb-ft) of torque temporarily while boosting. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.6 seconds and quickly reaches the electronically governed top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph).

An intelligent drive management system controls the interplay between the motors as appropriate for the situation, with a focus on the greatest possible efficiency. The driver decides on the degree of recuperation, the driving program S or D and the mode of the Audi drive select system.


The large lithium-ion battery is integrated into the floor of the passenger compartment. It gives the Audi e‑tron quattro concept a balanced axle load distribution and a low center of gravity – prerequisites for its dynamic handling. The 95 kWh battery—integrated into the floor of the passenger compartment—enables a range of more than 500 kilometers (310.7 mi). The Combined Charging System (CCS) enables charging with DC or AC electrical current. A full charge with DC electrical current at a charging column with an output of 150 kW takes just around 50 minutes.

As an alternative, the study is equipped with Audi Wireless Charging technology for contactless induction charging. In addition, a large solar roof provides electricity for the drive system battery on sunny days.

The adaptive air suspension, which features controlled damping, lowers the body at higher speeds to reduce drag. The dynamic-all-wheel steering combines a dynamic steering system on the front axle with a steering system for the rear wheels. Depending on speed and the driving situation, they steer either opposite or in the same direction as the front wheels. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept thus reacts even more spontaneously and stably, and is also very maneuverable at low speeds.

The car’s drag coefficient measures just 0.25—a new best for the SUV segment, where figures are usually considerably over 0.30. At speeds from 80 km/h (49.7 mi), electrically actuated aerodynamic elements on the engine hood, the flanks and at the rear end direct the flow of air as needed to improve the flow through and around the vehicle. This is one example of the intensive development work in the wind tunnel. Wind noise is low on board the car, and there are no engine noises in an electric car in any case.

The vertical separating edges on the side panels and the fully enclosed floor pan with its newly designed microstructures contribute to reducing drag. Cameras replace the exterior mirrors—another contribution to the excellent aerodynamics and also a foretaste of the future of driving.

The concept study is equipped with all the technologies that Audi has developed for piloted driving: radar sensors, a video camera, ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner. The data these supply come together in the central driver assistance controller (zFAS) in the luggage compartment. (Earlier post.) It computes a complete model of the car’s surroundings in real time and makes this information available to all assistance systems and the systems for piloted driving. These technologies are also nearly ready for use in production vehicles.


Porsche Mission E. Mission E is a four-door, four-seat sport car that delivers more than 600 hp (440 kW) system power and more than 500 km driving range. Features include all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering; zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80% charge of electrical energy. Instruments are intuitively operated by eye-tracking and gesture control, some even via holograms—highly oriented toward the driver by automatically adjusting the displays to the driver’s position.

The drive system of the Mission E is entirely new, yet is proven in motor racing. Two permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM)—similar to those used in this year’s Le Mans victor, the 919 hybrid—accelerate the sports car and recover braking energy.

Together the two motors produce over 600 hp, and they propel the Mission E to a speed of 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and to 200 km/h in under twelve seconds.

The need-based all-wheel drive system with Porsche Torque Vectoring—which automatically distributes torque to the individual wheels—transfers the drive system’s power to the road, and all-wheel steering gives precise, sporty steering in the desired direction. This makes the Mission E fit for the circuit race track; its lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is under the eight-minute mark.

Porsche is a front-runner in introducing innovative 800-volt technology for the first time. Doubling the voltage—compared to today’s electric vehicles that operate at 400 volts—offers multiple advantages: shorter charging times and lower weight, because lighter, smaller gage copper cables are sufficient for energy transport.

A moveable body segment on the front left wing in front of the driver’s door gives access to the charging port for the innovative “Porsche Turbo Charging” system. Via the 800-volt port, the battery can be charged to approximately 80% of its capacity in around 15 minutes. As an alternative, the technology platform can be connected to a conventional 400-volt charging station, or it can be replenished at home in the garage via convenient inductive charging by simply parking over a coil embedded in the floor of the garage from which the energy is transferred without cables to a coil on the car’s underbody.

The battery is mounted in the car’s underbody and runs the whole length between the front and rear axles. This distributes its weight to the two drive axles uniformly, resulting in exceptionally good balance. In addition, it makes the sports car’s centre of gravity extremely low. Both of these factors significantly boost performance and a sports car feeling. The body as a whole is made up of a functional mix of aluminium, steel and carbon fibre reinforced polymer. The wheels are made of carbon: the Mission E has wide tire mounted on 21-inch wheels in front and 22-inch wheels at the rear.

Tiguan GTE. Click to enlarge.

Tiguan GTE PHEV. The Volkswagen brand is showing four versions of the new Tiguan simultaneously at Frankfurt. The production versions are the very sporty Tiguan R-Line, the classic on-road model and a special off-road version. Meanwhile, the Tiguan GTE concept vehicle that has a 160 kW/218 PS plug-in hybrid drivetrain shows how the best-selling compact SUV could further develop.

This Volkswagen, which is being presented as a concept vehicle, can cover a distance of up to 50 km in “E-Mode” driving as an all-electric zero-emission vehicle. Its average fuel consumption (combined) is 1.9 l/100 km (124 mpg); this equates to a co2 emissions figure of 42 g/km. The relatively long electric driving range not only benefits from the externally chargeable lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 13.0 kWh, but also from a solar module that is integrated in the roof. Under ideal conditions, the energy that it generates annually is sufficient to add up to 1,000 km of driving range (Germany 500 km, Southern Europe 800 to 1,000 km), depending on the regional solar radiation power.


The concept car is driven via its front axle by a direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine (1.4 TSI with 115 kW) and an electric motor. The lithium-ion high-voltage battery supplies the electric motor with energy. The Tiguan GTE operates with a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) that was specially developed for hybrid use. The electric motor was integrated into the gearbox housing.

Additional components of the hybrid drive include the power electronics (converts DC power from the battery to AC power for the electric motor) and a charger. The Tiguan GTE can be driven in the described E-Mode or in one of the three other modes Hybrid, Battery Charge, or GTE.

After starting the drive system, the concept vehicle automatically drives off in

“E-Mode”. When a minimum charge level of the battery has been reached or when there is very high demand for power, the drive system automatically switches over to the “Hybrid” mode. This means that “E-Mode” is deactivated, and the Tiguan GTE now behaves like a classic full hybrid vehicle. It charges the battery regeneratively during deceleration and automatically uses the TSI and/or electric motor according to the driving situation. By pressing the “E-Mode” button, the driver can manually switch to zero-emissions operation if necessary. Exclusively driven by electric motor, the Tiguan then has a top speed of 130 km/h.

The driver presses the GTE button to switch to GTE mode, which activates the sporty side of the concept car. This GTE mode is an exclusive feature of all Volkswagen vehicles with a plug-in hybrid drive system. The characteristics of the accelerator pedal, gearbox and steering are made noticeably more dynamic, and the tuning of the TSI is more performance oriented. In addition, in the GTE mode the TSI and electric motor work together for boosting which makes the full system power and the maximum system torque available. The Tiguan GTE then has a top speed of 200 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds.

Audi of America is hosting Green Car Congress at IAA.


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I am very glad to see that it seems that VW is getting serious about long-range performance BEVs that are luxury. And not just one car but both a SUV and a roadster. This is really good because this is exactly the type of BEVs that will and can replace gassers. This type of BEVs is simply more value for the money when compared to equally powerful gassers. Of cause they are both still concepts but unlike the sketch that Audi released a month ago this live concept SUV look like the real stuff. In Audi's press release they say "Audi will present an all-electric, luxury-class sport SUV in early 2018". That is a little unclear but I read it as Audi will show the final production version of this long-range SUV and then start production later in 2018. So Tesla has about 3 years where they can sell Model X without any competition from other cars than gassers that are unable to compete because they suck by comparison.

Also good to see Porsche gets it with this BEV 911. Can't wait to see Tesla's Roadster II and this BEV Porsche and also follow how fast they will erode the market for gasser sports cars. The Tesla roadster will be much faster than this BEV Porsche though. The roadster II must be able to significantly outperform the 2.8 sec from 0 to 60 mph that the Model S can do. So I expect something below 2 sec for the fastest version of Tesla's Roadster II that Musk say will go into production in 2019.

It also seems that VW will use a 150kWatt charger for their long-range BEVs. So at this point they seem to outperform the 120kWatt charger that Tesla uses. Of cause Tesla currently has a global network with 3000 of those superchargers whereas VW has none yet.


Lots to like here, but I am a bit disappointed that as yet there is no sign of a higher AER E-Golf to compete with the Leaf's new 30kwh battery pack.

On the plus side, the big one for me is looking in to 800 volt technology, which has the potential to make charging times 'near enough' to petrol refill.

I don't mind stopping for a coffee, but having breaks so long that there is nothing to do but eat motorway food is beyond the call of duty, or respect for the digestion.

Its also good to see air suspension getting still more traction, a long way along from the early Citroen innovation, but it still has great potential, hopefully to be at long last realised.


A shout out to Mike, who always has THE best coverage of VW group products.

Looking forward to more reports from the show!


The solar roof is a bit of a cod, in my opinion.
Lets say it is the size of a standard solar panel and generates 200w in good sunlight.
You will probably want to drive at 15-20 Kw, thus it supplies 1 - 1.4% of your power while driving at 100Kph - super.

The 1000 km/year is about 200 KwH, thus it needs to be left in the sun for 1000 hours / year to achieve this.
Also, it is flat, not pointing south like normal solar panels, so you'll get less than 200W from it, certainly in central and northern Europe.

They should allow you spend the money on a solar offset on the roof of the factory: you would get a lot more solar energy from that than putting it on the roof of a SUV and parking it in a garage half the time.

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Agree, that the solar panel is not very useful. The rumour is that Model X will come with a panoramic roof instead that is electronically activated instead of a mechanic shutter. You simply push a button (or perhaps voice activated, would be cooler) and the roof becomes transparent. I even think it is gradually adjustable so you can let in anything from 0 to 100% of the light from outside. I guess we will all know by 29. sep at Tesla's launch event.

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Here is a link for that panoramic roof



I think something has got lost in the works, probably in the PR department about the solar roof.

Audi uses those, but they are for the realistic goal of running a small fan when the car is parked to keep it cooler, not in some vain attempt to boost mileage of an EV.


I missed the bit about 'annually'.

Others have commented on this not very useful feature.
The only bit I would add is that the ones on cars are lightweight thin film cells, and won't add much to the weight of the car.

Thomas Pedersen

Thanks for the long explanation of the new Tiguan drivetrain, which is exactly the same as the Golf GTE and Passat GTE...

What I like about solar roofs in cars is that it likely has significantly lower installation cost than any other type of solar panels. There is zero on-site installation cost.

Also, bypassing through-the-grid transmission of solar power improves efficiency.

And, like someone else commented, the power generated can - if the car manufacturer chooses to - be used to maintain cabin temperature without draining the battery. That would be a waste of energy, though, in all but a few cases.

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Reuters report a 2018 to 2019 launch date for the Porsche roadster. This is the same as the launch date for Tesla's Roadster II. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/14/autoshow-frankfurt-audi-tesla-idUSL5N11G2M620150914

I note that acceleration is 4.6 sec to 60mph for the Audi but only 2.8 sec for Model S and 3.3 sec for Model X when ordered with ludicrous speed. The Audi has a top speed of 130.5 mph whereas Model S has 155 mph. I wonder why Audi has such a low top speed. German Tesla buyers specifically called for Tesla to increase the top speed of the first version of the Model S that could only do 130 mph. The German autobahn has no speed limit so 155 mph is important for a luxury car. I also note that Audi has improved the aerodynamics by not using the legally required back mirrors. They need to be in the production model. Audi also improves aerodynamics by mechanically chancing air flows during high speed over 80mph. This is nice in a luxury car but also very expensive stuff. I say it adds at least 10k USD to the price of the car. Will the production version have it? If not the range of 311 miles using a 95kwh battery in a large SUV shaped car is simply not possible. It will be more like 260 miles EPA rated.

Musk said they would make something better than the ludicrous speed of 2.8 sec for Model S and then he said Tesla would definitely make a new roadster in about 2019. The roadster II will weight less than Model S probably 1600 kg like the 911 turbo so with a model S drivetrain it should be able to do 0 to 60 in less than 2 sec.

Thomas Pedersen

In the top rendering of the Porsche, viewed some 30° from the front, strikes me as probably the most attractive front of a car I have ever seen. And I'm usually not a fan of Porsche design...

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Apparently VW has not cleared the BEV Porsche for production yet. See http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/foreign/2015/09/15/porsche-unveils-electric-tesla-fighting-sports-car/72338404/

I like the design of that Porsche as it is. But they need a version that can do 0 to60 in less than 2 sec and a quarter mile in 10 sec in order to compete with Tesla's roadster II. They also need a global supercharger network. If VW group go fully into making long-range BEVs and launch 4 different models and also build that global supercharger network then they can compete with Tesla. I think it will take at least 5 to 6 years for VW to get to that point and they need to invest accordingly. In 2020 Tesla will be making 500k long-range BEVs and have a dense global supercharger network and make 4 different cars, Model S, X, III and the Roadster II. They will be a terrifying opponent for other automakers that whish to make long-range BEVs and they will do real global damage to the sale of luxury gassers costing 50k and above.


For me, the key thing is the 800V charging. Elsewhere they are saying the Porsche can recharge 250 miles range in just 15 minutes - that's equivalent to charging at about 280 kW (more than twice the power of the current iteration of Tesla superchargers).

Since Porsche are serious about this, but would never go it alone with a rollout of an 800 V charging network that only their own vehicles can use, it is very likely that VW, (and most likely other German automakers behind the scenes), are already on board to adopt the new high power standard and to help roll out high power chargers for German vehicles.

Perhaps the reason they have been biding their time and allowing Tesla to take the lead for so long is because they were waiting to get the technology ready for fossil-fuel busting recharge times?

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Clett that is an interesting thought. But they have cleared the Audi for production that uses 150kW charging and most likely in a conventional 400 volts setup. The Porsche is not cleared for production and if it is it may not get 800 volt charging because that charging network does not exist and never will if the only BEV to get this capability is a roadster that only sell a few thousands per year globally. For this to make sense you need to do it on all models and you need to have a plan for selling at least 100,000 of them per year so that the cost of building a global network with these "ultra super chargers" makes sense.

I would imaging that 800 volt charging at 300k watt or even 1200 volt charging at 450k watt will come some day but I do not expert to see it until after 2020. The 1200 volt solution is most exciting as it could reduce charging time for a 100kwh battery to about 13 min. Moreover, it is my impression that reduced charging time is not a high priority for most Tesla owners. If you drive for 3 hours strait as you can on the highway with a 90kwh battery you need to rest longer than 15 minutes so a charging time of 50 min is fine for most Tesla owners. Tesla's bigger priority is to increase their production capacity and make more models available, building more superchargers and service stations and sales offices and above all to make self-driving cars possible before 2020. They need a certain critical mass to be able to compete on price when one of the big players finally decide to make long-range BEVs a priority. I have not seen the latter yet. Even this announcement from VW is only half-hearted compared to what Tesla is doing and planning to do.


To match current gasoline/diesel and H2 stations, future quick e-chargers would have to transfer enough electrons for 500+ Km drive in 5 to 6 minutes.

Future batteries would also have to be able to take these ultra fast charges without blowing up.

It is not impossible but may take another 10+ years or so?


Twenty plus new partially and/or fully electrified vehicles may be one way for VW to pull out of the current diesel mess?

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