After showing the world a barrage of electric zero emissions concepts, Audi is making sure that none of those efforts are going in vain. The company has set an ambitions target of becoming the leading seller of electrified cars in its segment by 2020. It has also planned a host of plug-in hybrids slated for launch in the next 5 years.
The e-TRON badge
All the plug-in hybrids will be sold under the e-TRON umbrella. The first glimpse of the production ready e-TRON technology will debut in the Audi R18 E-tron quattro hybrid Le Mans racer. Similar to the KERS system in F1, the e-TRON technology saves the energy produced under braking which then power the motors at each wheels.
While Audi has already started trial runs of the A3 e-TRON in US, next year will see the automaker launch its first electric car for public sale, the R8 e-tron supercar.
The German automaker has also confirmed that next-generation A4 and Q7 models would also offer plug-in hybrid options from 2014 onwards.
The e-TRON is not the only technology that Audi is working on. The company gave a glimpse of 7 very interesting technologies that we will be able to see in the new Audis.
- Wireless Charging: The company has plans to charge its electric range of cars using coil-based inductive charging system that can charge the car without a plug.
- Parking finder: While automated parking is becoming a norm on high end cars, Audi’s technology will take it a step further with the addition of a parking space finder that locates nearby lots and garages
- OLED lighting: LED are passé. In an effort to stay green, Audi is working on integrating OLEDs in the headlamps and tail lamp of the cars.
- Hybrid Body Materials: Obsessed with reducing the weight of the car, Audi is working on lightweight chassis development using aluminum.
- FRP Coil Springs: Further reduction in weight will be achieved by introduction of the fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) spring with weight savings of more than 40 percent.
- Multitouch Controls: The company is working on a new multi-touch system that incorporates tactile feedback, voice controls and gestures to reduce driver distractions
- Predictive Suspension: A camera-based system that will subtly alter the adaptive dampers by scanning the road 20 meters ahead similar to one is Mercedes.
Back home in India Audi plans to launch at least three new models in India this year. First up would be the new Audi TT in the next month. Minor updates on the new Audi TT such as LED headlamps a new bumper, new headlamps, new grille and new fog lamps would be the key features of the new TT. Expect the price tag to be around 50 lakhs
After the TT, the eagerly awaited Audi Q3 will finally take the battle to the BMW X1. Expect massive fireworks from this impending battle. Later this year, the sporty Audi S6 will follow suit.
Looks like Audi is all set to run four rings around its competition.