A1 e-tron: This is how the first Audi electric car drives

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This is how the first electric car from Audi drives

A1 e-tron: This is how the first Audi electric car drives-electric cars

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The Audi A1 e-tron is still a test vehicle, but could come onto the market in 2013.

Source: Audi

A1 e-tron: This is how the first Audi electric car drives-Audi

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Externally, the e-tron hardly differs from a normal A1.

Source: Audi

A1 e-tron: This is how the first Audi electric car drives-Bavaria

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The range of the plug-in hybrid is around 250 kilometers and consumption should be 1.9 liters.

Source: Audi

A1 e-tron: This is how the first Audi electric car drives-Audi

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A display on the dashboard shows the flow of energy in the system.

Source: Audi

A1 e-tron: This is how the first Audi electric car drives-Audi

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The A1 is driven by an electric motor, a small petrol rotary engine is only there to charge the batteries when necessary.

Source: Audi

A small petrol engine ensures that the A1 e-tron does not run out of juice on longer journeys. The car could start in 2013.

D.he Audi R8 is out of reach for most drivers even with a conventional drive. And as an electric e-tron, it remains an expensive dream even for many high-income earners. But because Audi wants to sell a six-digit number of electric cars and plug-in hybrids every year as early as 2020, the Bavarians have to add more at the lower end of the range – for example with the A1 e-tron. They showed how the small city runabout can be electrified at the Geneva Motor Show in March. And the first testers could now try out how it drives.

The A1 is designed as a so-called “Mega City Vehicle” that hums through the urban canyons in huge metropolises like Rio, New York or Tokyo without any local emissions. This is ensured by an e-motor mounted transversely at the front with a permanent 61 and temporarily even 102 hp, which is fed by a lithium-ion battery. Weighing 150 kilograms and measuring twelve kilowatt hours, it is installed as a T-beam in the center tunnel and under the back seat and provides enough power for a (modest) 50 kilometers of city traffic. The electric A1 is also at the forefront when it comes to performance: Because the engine provides up to 240 Nm and the small e-tron, thanks to the carbon roof and other lightweight components, does not even weigh 1200 kilos, it can sprint to 100 km / h in 10, 2 seconds. Like every Stromer, it has its strengths right from the start and therefore feels like a Golf GTI at the traffic lights. Only the top speed, limited to a good 130 km / h, shows that reason takes precedence over pleasure.

If the battery is empty, the e-tron would actually have to be plugged in for three hours or on a quick charger for 30 minutes. But because this is not necessarily suitable for everyday use and city dwellers also want to go to the country, Audi has planted a range extender under the trunk floor for the A1. While Opel, for example, relies on a conventional four-cylinder, Audi has unearthed a different concept in the historical fund of the founding brand NSU: the rotary engine. Not only is it smaller and lighter than a normal reciprocating engine, it also runs much more smoothly, the engineers argue. During the first test drive, therefore, only the indicator light in the flickering colorful computer cockpit reveals whether the engine is running or not.

In the A1, the Wankel has a disc and a chamber volume of 0.25 liters, weighs just 65 kilograms and drives a generator at a constant speed of 5000 rpm. From the twelve liters of gasoline reserve, it produces enough electricity for another 200 kilometers. The bottom line is that Audi uses the currently discussed formulas for range extender vehicles to calculate a consumption of 1.9 liters and CO2 emissions of less than 45 g / km. However, the developers designed the A1 in advance obedience in such a way that it is guaranteed to drive free of pollutants in possible environmental zones: With the help of the navigation system, the use of the range extender in appropriately marked areas can therefore be electronically excluded.

Officially, the A1 e-tron is still a test balloon. However, the chic Stromer has already taken the first step from dream to reality for the city. The study for the Geneva Motor Show this March has already become a prototype. Although the window to the engine is missing in the trunk and inside the futuristic center console has given way to a completely normal center tunnel, so that only the instruments testify to the special status of the electric vehicle. But five vehicles are already buzzing around Ingolstadt, and there should be 30 by the start of a pilot project in Munich next spring. If project manager Dietrich Engelhart has his way, it doesn’t have to stay that way: “We are currently working on the relevant board of directors. If the management gives us the green light at the end of this or the beginning of next year, then the A1 e-tron 2013 will be ready to go.

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