Audi A1 e-tron - Full Details
Audi has released full details of its Audi A1 e-tron range-extended electric car, which is scheduled for mass-market debut in 2012.
The Audi A1 e-tron embodies an intelligent and sophisticated technological concept. A lithium-ion battery pack provides the energy for the electric drive. The driver generally charges the battery pack from the grid – most conveniently, from a home socket.
Full battery charging suffices for more than 50 km – in most cases that's more than enough for daily commuting, as numerous studies have confirmed.
In the event that the driver wants to travel a longer distance, the mega city vehicle from Audi has a range extender on board – a small combustion engine that recharges the battery to extend the range beyond 250 km (155.34 miles). The Audi A1 e-tron always travels electrically – no sort of mechanical connection exists between the range extender and the driven front wheels.
The ancillary units of the A1 e-tron are electrified. A high-voltage refrigerant compressor operating according to the current power requirement drives the air conditioning system, for considerably greater efficiency compared with conventional concepts. The power steering operates electrohydraulically as in the series production model, and is therefore also especially energy efficient. The hydraulic brake system includes a brake servo, with the vacuum supplied by an electrically operated pump, also demand-controlled.
The compact 2-door vehicle affords all the strengths of the Audi A1 model series – a small turning radius, good clarity and high agility. The running gear is carefully tuned, combining pleasant comfort with a sporty character. Going with the trend of the future doesn't entail the slightest sacrifice for the A1 e-tron, especially since the interior space and the luggage compartment capacity match those of series production models.
The Electric Motor
The synchronous motor of the Audi A1 e-tron is mounted transversely in the front, with its low installation benefiting the center of gravity. It has a continuous power of 45 kW (61 hp), with a torque of 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) already available from a standstill. The peak performance lies at 75 kW (102 hp), the maximum torque at 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft). The powerful "little guy" from Audi thus accelerates in 10.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) and continues to a top speed of over 130 km/h (80.78 mph).
The torque flows to the front axle via a single-staged transmission flanged to the electric motor. The selector lever stems from the series production model, following the appropriate adaptation. The modes are "D", "R", "N" and "Range" – on this level the range extender is activated depending on the applied operating strategy; the electronic management system cuts in the extender with smooth transitions. The current load requirement and the energy level of the battery are the most important factors.
In the engine compartment next to the electric motor is the power electronics, which controls the electric traction. The DC converter coupling the 14 V electrical system to the high-voltage system, the switching unit for protecting the high-voltage components and the charging module are also accommodated in the front end.
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