North America auto buyers would be amused at the potpourri that is the global Audi vehicle range. Through high-profile auto exhibitions, the version of the A1 subcompact and Q3 compact crossover are models unaccustomed to Audi owners (or potential Audi owners) in the United States. Making judgement calls for what mind of vehicles a certain market can sustain, we (as North American enthusiasts) are kept in the dark of Audi’s accomplishments in other parts of the world. Thankful to the theatrics of several major auto shows, car companies are finally encouraged to display their many faces to a global audience.
In China, Audi produces a wider wheelbase version of the A6 sedan in association with (FAW) First Automobile Works Group Corporation. A solid selling vehicle in China‘s premium car segment after a short time on the market, the Audi A6 L is 3.7 inches longer compared to the standard sedan in overall length. For the 2012 Auto China exhibit, Audi and FAW collective success of the A6 L is being highlighted to the world with e-tron treatment. The newest appearance of Audi’s electrified plug-in hybrid powertrain, A6 L e-tron Concept pushes the bounds of their gasoline-saving technology deeper.
The combination of a gasoline and electric power train on a large sedan (as shown on the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept) is nothing new for Audi. The A8 Hybrid sedan is slated for sale in Europe following the A6 Hybrid already found in showrooms east of the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, the main difference with the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept is the use of electrical power as primary motion. Using the same 211-horsepower, 2.0 TFSI engine used in the conventional A6 and A8 hybrid vehicles as a range extender, the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept adaptation to a plug-in hybrid motoring caused a rethink of the electric-mode hardware. Instead of the 40-kilowatt electric motor found on the A8 hybrid, the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept employs a more powerful 70-kilowatt electrical propulsion unit. A larger lithium-ion battery pack is also a property of driving plug-in hybrid vehicle such as the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept.
On pure electric power, the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept can run up to 80 kilometers (about 50 miles) on a single change at a maintained speed of 37.3 miles per hour. The Audi A6 L’s lightweight aluminum construction and use of highly efficient LED lighting plays well to optimize the e-tron powertrain.
Still a very stylized premium sedan, the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept wears its fins in a much tighter fashion than that found on the production car. As the ultra-modern Audi sedan receives propulsion from gasoline and electric power, the A6 L e-tron Concept coasts on 21-inch wheels featuring the same aggressive turbine blade design featured on the Audi e-tron Spyder.
Despite the intense focus on energy efficiency, the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept sedan continues to pamper the driver and passengers with modern comfort. Features such as ventilated seats, automatic climate control, Bose Surround Sound System and Audi MMI navigation plus are all found inside of the four-door luxury sedan. For the driver of the plug-in hybrid, the instrument panel features a subtle but important change. Replacing the tachometer, a powermeter is incorporated into the Audi A6 L e-tron Concept so drivers can actively monitor the lithium-ion battery along with other crucial gauges.
Thanks to show cars like the A6 L e-tron Concept, Audi has convinced observers of the German luxury car brand there are far-reaching merits to Audi’s e-tron technology. Combining the eco-friendly motoring both government agencies and motorists will require through the upcoming decades, we have seen e-tron bringing the same confidence as well as performance refinement expected from the upscale car badge. However, customers of Audi are still several years away from seeing e-tron for sale. The first planned e-tron production model is the Audi A3 e-tron set for 2014 release in Europe. The Audi A6 L e-tron Concept (a possible pipedream of a lower tailpipe emission future) seems likely to remain a showpiece for the immediate future.
Information and photo source: Audi AG
Pertaining to sport versions of Audi’s vehicles, the RS destination was given to the German luxury car brand’s products in 1994. Inaugurated on ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ called the RS2 Avant, the flexibility Audi showed with towards high performance presented the all-wheel drive quattro drivetrain linked in a screaming 311 horsepower 2.2 liter turbocharged engine. In recent years, Audi’s avant-garde design has been injected with a high dose of performance character through expanded use of the RS badge as the brand headquartered in Ingolstadt, Germany targeted the M division of BMW and AMG outfitted Mercedes-Benz products.
Extended to sedan, coupes, convertibles and wagons of many sizes, there have yet to be a production RS model of an Audi crossover vehicle. At the upcoming Beijing Auto China exhibit, one concept presentation using an Audi Q3 will finally test the waters of crossover utility merging with the high-performance RS trim.
Painted a rather calming shade of Ordos Blue (a mix of matte blue and yellow), the Audi RS Q3 Concept is a rare variety of compact utility super performance. Lowered 25 millimeters (0.98 inches) compared to the stock model Q3 sold in Europe, the Audi RS Q3’s bodywork also portrays a wider stance for the crossover vehicle. Unique front grille, tinted front headlight and taillight housings as well as the precise use of aluminum trim allows the concept crossover to beam premium performance. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) body add-ons on the Audi RS Q3 supplies a front spoiler, rear diffuser and retouched air intakes surroundings befitting a sports car. The Audi RS Q3 sport compact crossover rides on 20-inch wheels featuring a multi-finish style where high-gloss and matte-looking surfaces combine within 255/30 tires.
The sight of blue, black and aluminum fill the Audi RS Q3 Concept’s interior. A glass sunroof allows natural light to flow freely through the cabin of the five-passenger cabin. Creating a sense of high-grade performance along with a premium comfort feel, the RS Q3 Concept features seating marrying Nappa leather and dark blue alcantara. Ahead of a redesigned instrument panel, black velvet covers the steering wheel made of CFRP material.
Powering the Audi RS Q3 Concept is the 2.5 liter, five-cylinder TFSI similar to the one found in the TT RS sports car. A direct-injected and turbocharged engine, 144 horsepower per liter from the inline powerplant combines to total 360 horsepower. Networked through a seven-speed S Tronic direct shift transmission, the 360 horsepower of the Audi RS Q3 is intelligently guided along quattro all-wheel drive for incredible performance. Capable of a top speed of almost 165 miles per hour, acceleration from 0 to 62 in the Audi RS Q3 is estimated at 5.2 seconds.
Making its public debut late next week in China, the high performance Audi RS Q3 Concept will be auditioning for its place in the upcoming vehicle line-up of this growing German auto brand.
Information and photo source: Audi AG