The Shanghai motor show saw the release of Audi’s new A3 e-tron concept. Pay attention now because this isn’t the same e-tron that was released at the Detroit motor show in January...or the other one that was unveiled in Frankfurt that looked like an R8. The e-tron is fast becoming an automotive guinea pig for VW group’s battery technology.
This e-tron is derived from an A3 chassis but looks more like an A4 to us. It’s a plug-in hybrid powered by an electric motor with a 20kw (27hp) output. Electricity comes from lithium-ion batteries with a 12kWh capacity, providing a range of up to 34 miles. The e-tron also has a 1.4 TFSI engine and combined with the electric motor the car will do 0-62 in 6.8 seconds, with a top speed of 143mph.
The e-tron series of cars might sound like something out of a Terminator film, but Audi are clearly taking very profound steps towards an electric car range. Their electric R8 (one of the other e-trons) could be in production by 2012 and that car made it to 60mph in 4.8 seconds and had a top speed of 124mph on batteries alone… Suddenly we’re not laughing at electric cars anymore.