So Long Audi A2 e-tron
Audi has been one of the most puzzling carmaker these pas few decades. From it’s glorious racing heydays to today, the carmaker has seen a lot. After the fateful global recession and until 2009, Audi was claiming battery operated vehicles had no future. Six months later, the stunning e-tron prototype arrived and showed a complete turn around for the company. The public was so enthused, the company promised a slew of derivatives.
Technically Speaking. The lithium-ion battery pack was to be mounted under the floor and would pack 31 kWh of energy, 24 kWh usable. The electric motor would deliver 85 kW, 116 hp of peak power and 60 kW in continuous with 270 Nm, 199.14 lb-ft of torque, 160 Nm, 118.01 lb-ft in continuous. The range was to be 124.27 miles in European driving cycle with roughly 1.5 hours to fully recharge on a 400V three-phase current socket, 4 hours on a 230V socket. It would have been capable of wireless charging.
The Electric A2 etron. Electrifying the compact MPV A2 was a smart choice, unfortunately the company backed out when the sticker looked to be north of $50,000. While the regular gas version is stated to come here soon, the electric prototype will remain just that, an exercise.
To be fair, the company never promised an electric A2 but it sends a mix message. BMW can electrify two of its cars, Ford can do the same with its Focus and Tesla has proven that current laptop battery technology was good enough for a 240 mile range roadster, why can’t Audi do the same?
The Plug-In Hybrid A2. Along with this news comes the one about no plug-in hybrid A2 either. Stated to use a rotary Wankel motor as its on-board generator, the project has also been shut down.
This leaves the German market with BMW currently the only one to commercialize a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric car soon, respectively the i8 and i3. Mercedes-Daimler is close to releasing their respective cars, leaving Audi behind. It is a shame since the company made such a comeback from flat claiming electric powered car as unsustainable to: “Look at what we have in store for you!” The problem is with nothing happening, the message can be a little confusing.
In the meantime, this leaves the rest of the industry to do their best. Some like Ford and BMW use gasoline designed cars to slap on an electric drive successfully, while others design their electric cars from scratch, as with the Nissan Leaf. We can only hope that Audi will put some electric rubber burn to the street soon instead of promising exciting cars that cannot be delivered.