Thursday, September 15, 2011

Not as easily spotted as its Spyder relative, the Audi Urban Concept Sportback more closely matches the renderings we saw before the start of the Frankfurt Motor Show. That's not to say we were totally prepared for the quirkiness of either version, but at least the Sportback's carbon fiber reinforced plastic body was somewhat known to us.

Under the CFRP, the Sportback and Spyder share the same all-electric powertrain. That means two electric motors with a combined output of 15 kW (20 PS) of continuous power and 47 Nm (34.67 lb-ft) of torque as well as a li-ion battery that has 7.1 kWh of usable energy (total size unknown) and offers a range of 45 miles. Getting from zero to 62 mph (the concept's top speed) takes a gentle 16.9 seconds, which would be fine if Audi ever releases this vehicle for sale in its intended environment: the city.

Perhaps even more appropriate for a city getabout, the battery pack can recharge in just an hour from a standard 230-volt household current. If you have access to a 400-volt, three-phase current fast charger, that drops to approximately 20 minutes. Both concept vehicles are also ready with Audi Wireless Charging (AWC) technology, which uses contactless induction from a 3.6kW primary coil installed into a parking spot, say, to automatically start refilling the battery pack when you pull the car into place. Audi didn't say how long this wireless charging takes, just that it "is comparable to that of other charging technologies."

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