New details were released today about the Audi A1 e-tron concept, an all-electric vehicle that makes use of a rotary engine for extra energy. The story, photos, and sketches inside.
Audi used the Geneva Motor Show as a platform not only to show off the A1, but also to introduce the Audi A1 e-tron. The small car expands the e-tron brand for Audi, and is capable of running on electric power alone, making use of a combustion engine as a generator.
Engineers selected an electric motor that produces up to 75 kW for propulsion, which is transversely-mounted at the front of the vehicle. The motor's continuous output hovers around 45 kW, though quick boosts are possible for short periods of time. The motor puts out 150 Nm (111 lb-ft) of torque continuously, with peak torque rated at 240 Nm (177 lb-ft).
The motor is powered by a T-shaped 12 kW lithium-ion battery pack installed below the floor of the vehicle, which weighs just under 150 kilograms (331 lbs). All-electric range is rated at 50 kilometers (31 miles), with a 254 cc single-rotor engine recharging the battery as needed.
The small Wankel engine is installed under the luggage compartment, and combines with the generator, cooling unit, exhaust, insulation, intake, and subframe for a bit over 70 kilograms (154 lbs). Weight does not include the car's 12-liter (3 gallon US) fuel tank.
Audi claims their range extender system is an intelligent model that works with the car's GPS system. If the driver programs a destination for the navigation system, it will automatically choose the most efficient time to use the generator and engine. The range extender can also be turned on manually by using a push button mounted below the single-speed gear selector.
The 1,190 kg (2623 lbs) car is only capable of a sluggish 0-100 km/h sprint of 10.2 seconds. Not surprisingly, Audi is marketing this concept as a "Mega City Vehicle." With a top speed of only 130 km/h (81 mph), the vehicle would be a poor choice for people who commute to work from the suburbs. Still, with a full range of about 250 km (155 miles), the car is more than capable of occasional longer distance travel.
Those who pay attention to their vehicle's direct emissions will be pleased with the 45 grams of CO2 released per kilometer the extended range engine is in use. Audi claims fuel consumption is rated at about 1.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (123.8 mpg US / 148.6 mpg imp). Efficiency is helped by the electro-mechanical power steering and regenerative brakes.
You can read more about the Audi A1 e-tron concept in the press release below.