Audi e-tron Concept: the design

Concept Cars 26 Sep 2009
Audi e-tron Concept: the design

The official release and sketches that document the design process of the Audi e-tron Concept, the 2-seater sportscar that showcases the company’s technologies for the development of future electric models.


Exterior Design

Audi e-tron Concept Design Sketch Audi e-tron Concept Design SketchAudi e-tron Concept Design RenderingThe Audi e-tron has a wide, powerful stance on the road. The car body seems almost monolithic; the closed rear end appears powerful and muscular.

The trapeze of the single- frame grille dominates the front end and is flanked by two large air intakes.

The top of the grille merges into the flat strips of the adaptive matrix beam headlamp modules with their clear glass covers. High-efficiency LED technology is used for all lighting units.

The headlamps are the core of a fully automatic light assistance system that reacts flexibly to any situation.

Audi e-tron Concept Headlight Design SketchThenew technology recognizes weather conditions and adapts the illumination to rain or fog.

The variability of the headlamps is also reflected in their design.

The LED elements change appearance and thus the character of the front end of the vehicle depending on the speed driven and the ambient conditions.

The lighting technology offers the Audi designers almost as much design freedom as the shape of the body does.

A new design element unique to the e-tron are the air intakes in the single-frame grille and in front of the rear wheel wells.

They are closed flush under normal circumstances and opened by means of flaps when additional cooling air is required. The concept car has a low drag coefficient, which gets even better when the flaps are closed.

Audi e-tron Concept Design Rendering Audi e-tron Concept Design Rendering The vehicle body is compact. The sweeping line of the front end and the flat curved roof immediately identify the two-seater as an Audi. The contours of the flanks are familiar.

Audi e-tron Concept Audi e-tron Concept Audi e-tron Concept

Audi e-tron Concept Design RenderingThe tapering of the dynamic line above the sill and the shoulder line tie together the front end, the side and the rear, lend a plastic quality to the doors and the transition to the side air intake and sharply emphasize the Audi-typical round wheel wells with the large, 19-inch tires.

The e-tron is 1.90 meters (74.80 in) wide, just 4.26 meters (167.72 in) long and 1.23 meters (48.43 in) tall – the proportions of a supercar.

The wheelbase of 2.60 meters (102.36 in) leaves plenty of room between the axles for people and technology.

Like with a mid-engined sports car, the cabin of the e-tron is shifted far forward toward the front axle, leaving room in front of the rear axle for the roughly 470 kilogram (1036.17 lb) battery unit, the inverter and the power electronics.

Audi e-tron Concept Design SketchThe two electric motors, which have their own cooling system, are mounted behind the rear axle.

The front electric motors are mounted on the front axle, with their cooling system arranged in front of them.

This package, which features a 42:58 weight distribution, ensures perfect balance, which contributes to the driving dynamics of the e-tron.

Audi e-tron Concept Design SketchThe body structure is based on Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology and was realized as a hybrid construction. All add-on parts – doors, covers, sidewalls and roof – are made of a fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP).

The combination of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced composite material guarantees high rigidity coupled with low weight. Audi will soon use this technology in a similar form for production vehicles.

Despite the complex drive system layout with four electric motors and a high-capacity battery system, the total weight of the Audi e-tron is only around 1,600 kilograms (3527.40 lb).

Interior Design

Audi e-tron Concept Interior Design SketchOptical and functional references to the new drive concept characterize the interior design.

They establish an advanced connection between proven Audi genes and new formal hallmarks.

Typical for the Audi design language is the reduction of the architecture, controls and flow of information to the essential in favor of visible lightweight construction and a tidy overall impression.

The dash appears to float and has a curve that extends laterally into the door panels.

With no need to allow for a transmission, shifter and cardan tunnel, the designers took advantage of the opportunity to create a particularly slim and lightweight center tunnel and center console.

Audi e-tron Concept Interior Design SketchThe flush gear selector, with which the driver chooses between the modes forward, reverse and neutral, emerges from the tunnel when the vehicle is started.

The cockpit of the e-tron is also oriented toward the driver.

Instead of the classic instrument cluster, the concept car is the first Audi to be equipped with a large, fold-out central display with integrated MMI functions. It is flanked by two round dials.

The MMI is controlled via a scroll pad with a touch-sensitive surface on the steering wheel (“MMI touch”) – an element inspired by modern smartphones.

Audi e-tron Concept Interior Audi e-tron Concept Interior

While an analog speedometer on the right provides speed information, the instrument on the left tells the driver how much power is being drawn.

The central display shows the range in the status bar and presents all key information from the infotainment and navigation systems.

It also provides the driver with relevant data from the vehicle’s communication with its surroundings. The instruments combine the analog and the digital worlds into a single unit.

Audi e-tron Concept Headlight Design SketchCharacteristic for the concept of the Audi e-tron is the near total elimination of switches and small components such as the ignition.

The climate control unit is located to the right above the steering wheel.

The display provides temperature and ventilation information. Again drawing inspiration from a smartphone, the system is controlled by means of a touch-sensitive sliding control.

The racing-inspired lightweight bucket seats combine excellent lateral support with comfort.

Two contrasting colors – snow white and cognac – delineate the various zones of the interior.

Audi e-tron Concept Audi e-tron Concept Audi e-tron Concept

(Source: Audi)

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