Design Concept of the Day: Audi Sport quattro laserlight

January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

audi laserlightHappy New Year; we’ll kick off with a red supercar, just for the hell of it. Audi’s Sport quattro laserlight is a(nother) nod to the classic ’80s quattro coupe with next-generation laser-diode lighting technology (smaller but with twice the range and three times the luminosity of LEDs), but more interestingly, a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It’s an e-tron with 700hp and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque from its 4.0 bi-turbo V8 (560hp/700Nm) plus 100kW/400Nm motor, which nonetheless returns a claimed 113mpg and 59g/km; all-electric range is up to 31 miles and there are three selectable driving modes (EV, Hybrid, Sport). This concept – on display this week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas – also previews Audi’s next-gen MMI driver interface.

  • Ford’s showing a solar-enhanced C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid (all-electric range: up to 21 miles) at CES. It hooks up to a domestic solar array, and Ford reckons that (in the right climate) up to 75% of journeys made by the average owner could be solar-fuelled. Trials are to start in partnership with Georgia Tech with a view to pre-production evaluation. Full lowdown here.
  • Mercedes is showing off its internet-of-things thinking at CES: in partnership with watchmaker Pebble, it is demo-ing smart-watch integration of its Digital DriveStyle phone app. The watch face acts as a second screen, allowing drivers to monitor information such as vehicle location, fuel level and door locking status when away from the car (handy for valet-parking in Vegas, I guess). On the move, it connects up to V2V data on traffic conditions, road hazards and soforth as well as working with Siri voice commands and remote-controlling media.
  • Hyundai, meanwhile, also sees ‘wearables’ – i.e. Google Glass – as the future, and is making its cloud-based Blue Link platform compatible; next year’s Genesis saloon will come with a Glassware app. More details here at And GM’s going 4G LTE this year, too, reports Detroit News.
  • Nissan unveiled its NV200 taxi in London today (with 1.6-litre petrol engine for low particulate/NOx emissions), and has confirmed launch of the electric version in 2015.
  • The Department for Transport has published its ‘door to door’ Action Plan for integrated transport, an update on progress so far;¬† download it here. We won’t talk about this week’s rail fare increases (boo, hiss) now, will we?
  • And a pie-in-the-sky concept: Foster & Partners’ SkyCycle, elevated cycle paths above London’s train lines. Lovely idea, but realistically?
  • There was a 30% rise in public EV charging points last year in the US, up to 6,770, reports Autoblog Green, which has a handy rundown of the data. Including, presumably, this Skypump solar/wind installation at Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, which also powers street lights and supports rooftop hydroponic greenhouses.
  • Seen the one about the EV vending machine? Treehugger has the lowdown on the stacks of Kandi micro-cars in a soon-to-rapidly-expand Chinese car-share scheme.
  • Alternative fuels are as important in the transition to low-carbon cars as alt-powertrains, reports a well-to-wheel study from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. Handy rundown and full references (Journal of Power Sources, vol 249) at Green Car Congress.

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