Audi’s new e-tron is the second car to emerge as part of the firm’s E-Performance initiative, set up late last year.
The project is overseen by Audi Electronic Venture (AEV), an affiliate of the German car maker. It co-operates with universities, research institutions and start-up companies in the areas of electronics, mobility and design.
“We’re looking to establish concepts without compromise that we can place into production,” said Frank van Meel, head of Audi’s vehicle electrification strategy. “For us, electric mobility doesn’t mean converting existing cars. We want to develop stand-alone models that are tailor-made to electric propulsion.”
Audi’s decision to apply electric drive to sports cars rather than city cars is a result of studies which conclude that potential customers are more likely to fork out for a sleek two-seater than a boxy commuter, even if the technology used in both cars is the same.
“Sports cars lend themselves well to electrification, which is why we’ve decided to do a second, smaller e-tron,” said van Meel. “It’s like a rocket off the line. And even with rear-wheel drive, the addition of torque vectoring means there’s great traction and terrific agility.”