Presented at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the A1 e-tron is a Mega City Vehicle (MCV) with an electric powertrai, which extends the concept introduced with the first e-tron Concept and the e-tron Detroit Concept to the premium compact class.
The four-passenger, two-door MCV city car was designed specifically for use in the metropolitan areas of Europe and North America and in the rapidly growing megacities of Asia and South America.
The Audi A1 e-tron always drives on electric power; an internal 254cc Wankel combustion engine is used to recharge the battery in isolated cases and increases the range up to 200 km.
The synchronous electric motor of the Audi A1 e-tron is mounted transversely at the front of the car. Its low mounting position has a positive effect on the vehicle’s center of gravity.
Continuous output is rated at 45 kW (61 hp), with peak power of 75 kW (102 hp) available in short bursts. 150 Nm (110.63 lb-ft) of torque is continuously available, and peak torque is 240 Nm (177.01 lb-ft).
As with the other two e-tron models, the 18-inch wheels with a 20-spoke turbine design convey the high-tech aspiration of the concept. The rear diffuser with aluminum trim lacks tailpipes.
This emphasizes the width of the vehicle and suggests the low emissions.
The two front fenders are emblazoned with the "e-tron" logo, and the "Aqua Mint, pearl effect" exterior color carries over into the interior, where it adorns the door panels and the center console.
The retractable selector lever on the console of the center tunnel used to choose between "Drive," "Reverse," and "Neutral" was taken from the first Audi e-tron.
Its power electronics are mounted in the engine compartment above the electric motor.
The most important components are the pulse-controlled inverter, which serves as the controller between the electric motor and the battery; the DC converter, which connects the high-voltage network with the 14 volt electrical system; a breaker unit to protect the high-voltage components; and the charging module.
The socket for the standard charging plug is located behind the rings in the single-frame grille of the Audi A1 e-tron. A fully depleted battery can be recharged in approximately three hours from the 380 volt grid.
A display immediately adjacent to the plug-in connection shows the current charge status and the charging time remaining.
The power steering of the Audi A1 e-tron is electro-mechanical and thus particularly energy-efficient.
An electronic brake system makes it possible to tap into the recuperation potential of the electric motors.
A hydraulic fixed-caliper brake is mounted on the front axle, with two novel electrically-actuated floating-caliper brakes mounted on the rear axle.
These floating calipers are actuated not by any mechanical or hydraulic transfer elements, but rather by wire ("brake by wire"). In addition, this eliminates frictional losses due to residual slip when the brakes are not being applied.
In the energy storage unit is arranged below the floor, where it is ideal for the center of gravity and weight distribution.
The battery pack is shaped like a T, with the short "transverse beam" filling the rear section of the center tunnel and the "cross-beam" filling that area in front of the rear axle where the fuel tank is otherwise located.
The 380 volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery has a nominal energy content of 12 kilowatt hours. It comprises 96 prismatic cells and weighs less than 150 kilograms (330.69 lb).
The Audi A1 e-tron can drive 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) emission-free in city traffic on the powerful battery. On longer trips, the battery is recharged by a particularly compact internal combustion engine mounted below the luggage compartment.