[ad#post_ad]Though Audi President Johan de Nysschen famously went on record calling the Volt "a car for idiots," apparenly the allure of the EREV was just too compelling.  The German automaker has pulled a complete 180 and has just unveiled an interesting extended range electric car concept of its own that shares surprising similarites to the Volt.

Based on the compact A1 platform, the Audi A1 e-tron is a 4 seat 2-door premium class vehicle that always drives by way of its 75 kw (102 hp) peak, 45 kw (61 hp) continuous electric motor.

It contains a "T-shaped" 12 kwh lithium ion battery pack that contains enough energy for 31 miles of all electric range.  After that, an on-board range extender kicks in to produce electricity for continued driving.

Audi is using a very small 254 cc single rotor Wankel engine for electricity production, running at a constant 5000 rpm for peak efficiency.  They have included a tiny 3.17 gallon gas tank and the option for drivers to manually switch the generator on and off as desired.   GPS is also used to determine from the route and destination whether to activate the generator which can output 15 kw of power.

Audi notes its use of the tiny engine generator and gas tank along with the required power electronics, thermal management and exhaust only weigh 154 pounds collectively.  The small single RPM generator operates nearly silently and vibration free.  "The Wankel engine in the back can barely be heard when it is running," Audi states.  A brake by wire system is employed and recaptures kinetic energy when slowing.

The 2600 pound car can do 0 to 60 in 10 seconds and has a top speed of 80 mph.  Total range with a full tank of gas after the battery is depleted is an additional 124 miles.  Audi reports this translates to 123 mpg combining the two modes using the current draft standard for EREV fuel economy.

The car can be recharged in 3 hours at 380 Volts.

Lighter and slower than the Volt, with less electric and total driving ranges, the A1 e-tron is specifically suited to the big or "mega" city environments.

Source ( Audi )