Today, proving our assumptions right and themselves totally incapable of convincingly playing coy, Audi has finally dispensed with the subterfuge and officially confirmed that the Audi e-tron concept is slated for production.
Initially unveiled last month at the Frankfurt Motor Show, no hints were given about the e-tron concept’s production potential until a few weeks after its debut when Audi introduced the Vertical Run video game for PS3, featuring the e-tron concept on center stage. When explaining the motivation behind the game, Audi marketing directors stressed the importance of reaching out to the new, digital generation, which would have been largely a waste of money had Audi intended to keep the e-tron in the concept garage but will ultimately prove to be a very strategic move. According to Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen, a completely production-ready model of the e-tron won’t be ready until at least 2012 but “running samples” could hit showrooms as early as 2011.
Judging by the amount of energy Audi has devoted to promoting the e-tron in its current form, its likely the production version will differ very little from the concept. If such is the case, the 2012 Audi e-tron will bear a heavy resemblance to the R8 but, like the concept, will only measure just slightly larger than the TT. Power will be source to four electric motors and a lithium ion battery back that together will crank out power roughly equivalent to 313-horsepower and a rubber-burning 3,319 lb-ft of torque.
Given its supercar specs and the fact that EV technology still doesn’t come cheap, don’t expect the e-tron to offer up the poor man’s version of the Tesla Roadster. Prices will likely fall in the 6-figure range and barring any extraordinary developments in the lithium ion battery industry, initial production quantities will likely be very limited.
Source: Auto News