Audi, like other automakers, is very keen on reducing its carbon footprint. To this end a number of eco-friendly vehicles of all types have been approved for manufacture by the Audi board.
Audi is not falling behind the in electrification of the motor vehicle. The company has plans that reach beyond 2014 to introduce a wide variety of eco-friendly cars. These plans were approved by its board of directors this past December.
At the bottom end Audi will introduce the E1 based on Volkswagen's Up! concept (pictured in this rendering). But it will make it look very different so as not to be accused of badge engineering. Initially tiny petrol and diesel engines will be offered, followed by a full-on electric motor. Hybrid packs were considered too big for this size of vehicle.
An Audi E2 would be higher than the E1 and be the small eco sports car. It will share some of its components with the VW BlueSport production car and run on 1.2 FSI (75bhp/110Nm) or 1.2 TDI (75bhp/180Nm) engines. There may not be an electric option for the E2 as running costs are currently very prohibitive.
The rebirth of the aluminium A2 will be seen by 2011. It's going to be called the E3 and be built on the next A3's cost-efficient MQB matrix. The Audi Roadjet concept which debuted at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show is to be built as the Audi E4 where it will combine the space packaging of a tall-roof car with the dynamism of a Sportback. Hybrid power will form part of the E4's engine list.
At the higher end of the spectrum is an Audi E5, slated for a 2014 introduction. It's a larger sports car with lightweight architecture, very good handling and very high CO2/mpg goals. An S version currently dubbed the ES5 will be produced.