This is Audi's first luxury-class hybrid, on show now at the Auto China Expo in Beijing.
At this stage it's no more than a technology study, based on the long-wheelbase A6 L, Audi's biggest seller on the Chinese market, but it is a runner, specifically crafted to Chinese tastes and capable, according to the maker, of 80km on pure electric power - making it an important step towards future alternative-power mobility in china for Audi.
Audi produces this business-class sedan at the Changchun plant in a joint venture with FAW, so this shows what a locally produced New Energy Vehicle from Audi might look like.
225kW TOTAL POWER ON TAP
It combines a 155kW, two-litre TFSI petrol engine with a 70kW electric motor and a liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery in a collision-protected space at the rear of the vehicle.
Audi quotes a battery-only rnage of 80km/h at a steady 60km/h, but the hybrid control module will choose the most efficient operating mode - petrol only, electric only or a comnbinatin of the two - from moment to moment, depending on ambient conditions
It can recover energy during deceleration, or it can boost output power for strong acceleration by combining the two drives.
Audi already has three hybrids in production - the Q5 hybrid quattro, A6 hybrid and A8 hybrid, each of which can drive up to three kilometres on electric power. The next step, it says, is to implement drive systems in which electric driving is the primary focus.
The term e-tron thus refers to technologies ranging from plug-in hybrids to range extenders and finally vehicles powered purely by electric batteries or fuel cells.
And in the case of the R8 e-tron, that technology will be realised in a short production run later this year.
The Audi A6 L e-tron concept is 5.02 metres long and 1.87 metres wide but only 1.46 metres high, with a long bonnet, low, extended roof line and the sharp lines on its sides to create an illusion of movement even when it's standing still.
The single-frame grille has slender chromed cross-bars and 21” rims in a special e-tron design emphasise the technology, although the rest of the shell is standard A6 L, using about 10 percent aluminium to reduce weight.
The defining element of the cabin styling is an arc under the windshield that surrounds the driver and front passenger, while the front of the instrument panel is designed in the form of a flowing wave.
A powermeter replaces the rev-counter; its pointer indicates total drive system power on a scale of zero to 100 percent. Coloured segments indicate the operating state of the system and an auxiliary gauge displays the charge level of the battery.
Meanwhile, the energy flow indicator tells the driver which hybrid drive components are currently active. It can be displayed on either the driver's information screen or the MMI monitor.