The Audi e-tron Detroit Showcar was, unsurprisingly, the
version of the e-tron electric supercar which was displayed
at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show.
e-tron model was originally unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt
Motor Show, while at the LA Auto Show a slightly revised
version was displayed. The Detroit Showcar e-tron is however
the first to significantly deviate from the original design,
and the resulting car is an obvious improvement. Whereas
the original e-tron had a remarkable resemblance to the
R8, the Detroit Showcar e-tron has its own distinct character.
The lines of the Detroit Showcar Audi e-tron are noticeably
more curvaceous and graceful than the previous version.
When these proportions and contours are coupled with the
multi-spoke alloy wheels the car almost takes on a retro-classic
appearance. The trapeze of the single-frame grille dominates
the distinctly wedge-shaped front end and is flanked by
two large air intakes. The top of the grille merges into
the flat strips of the adaptive matrix beam headlight
modules with their clear glass covers. All light units
use ultra-efficient LED technology.
The headlights are the core of a fully automatic light
assistance system that reacts flexibly to any situation.
The new technology recognizes weather conditions and adapts
the illumination to rain or fog. The technology at the
heart of the light assistance system is a camera that
works together with a fast computer to detect oncoming
traffic, recognize lanes and measure visibilities, such
as in the event of fog.
The Detroit Showcar e-tron has an aluminium architecture
which results in a relatively low weight - for an electric
car - of 1,350 kgs (2,976 lbs), and when coupled with
the four-wheel-drive system and 204 hp from the two electric
motors the 0-60 mph sprint comes in at just 5.9 seconds.
After a full charge (which takes 11 hours) the e-tron
has a 155 mile range. The top speed is limited to 124mph,
as the amount of energy required by the electric motors
increases disproportionately to speed.
The heat pump, too which made its first appearance
in an automobile on the Audi e-tron concept car shown
in Frankfurt helps to boost efficiency and range.
Unlike a combustion engine, the electric drive system
generally does not produce enough waste heat to effectively
heat the interior. Other electric vehicles are equipped
with electric supplemental heaters, which consume a relatively
large amount of energy. The heat pump used by Audi
and commonly used in buildings is a highly efficient
machine that uses mechanical work to provide heat with
a minimum input of energy.
A high-efficiency climate control system is used to cool
the interior. It works together with the thermal management
system to also control the temperature of the high-voltage
battery. This is because the battery, power electronics
and electric motors must be kept at their respective ideal
operating temperatures to achieve optimal performance
The interior of the Detroit Showcar e-tron has also been
redesigned - however the changes are far more subtle.
The door panels have been reshaped, and the instrument
surround extended to provide some shade to the gauges.
Color and trim have also been changed but essentially
the basic structure has been left in place.
There's been no word from Audi yet on whether the Detroit
Showcar e-tron is a preview of an upcoming production
model. But considering the technology which has been developed
for the car, and how intensively Audi is working on the
project it's got a very good chance of directly affecting
the company's future electric vehicle product range.
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Audi Quattro Spyder
Audi Le Mans
Audi (Auto Union) Type-D
Audi Shooting Brake
Audi TT Clubsport Quattro
Audi A1 Metroproject
Audi A1 Sportback
Audi Cross Coupe Quattro