Thursday briefs

November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • Panasonic is investing $30million in Tesla, having bought around 2% of the stock in Tesla’s initial public offering. More at Green Car Advisor.
  • Audi is thinking imaginatively about synthesized sounds for its e-tron EV. It’s taking inspiration from the film I, Robot, apparently (Green Car Advisor).
  • A new proposal for range-extenders: a low-drag ‘self-propelled’ generator trailer. Conceived by specialists in camping/hunting expedition equipment, it’s called – what else?¬† – the Long Ranger. Full story, pics and spec sheet at Edmunds Green Car Advisor.
  • GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) have signed a MOU to develop two new-generation powertrains for Asia and emerging markets, and to co-develop alt-fuel vehicles including EVs. The work will be based at the Pan Asia Technical Center, Shanghai. Production is also starting in China of the Chevrolet New Sail EV.

Paris Motor Show: Audi e-tron Spyder

September 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

The e-tron has become a plug-in diesel hybrid, and lost its lid; Audi’s latest iteration of its electrified supercar is now a Spyder convertible, featuring a new 300PS version of the 3.0 TDI V6 engine and a pair of 64kW electric motors. It has a 31-mile range in all-electric mode at up to 38mph, and a total range of 621 miles; despite a 155mph top speed and 0-62 acceleration in 4.4 seconds, it returns an average 128.4mpg and emits 59g/km. The so-called¬† e-quattro chassis, with rear-biased but variable four-wheel-drive, features torque-vectoring, the targeted acceleration of individual wheels for optimum traction, stability and performance. Whilst the e-tron itself might not see production, much of its tech is destined for the mainstream line-up.

Audi A1 e-tron canned?

June 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

Rumour from the folks at Autoblog: apparently Audi chief Rupert Stadler has said that the A1 e-tron will not be made. Word is that they’ve decided that the standard-issue A1 will be economical and clean-running enough for most people, and that engineering the range-extended hybrid powertrain (which was to have included a Wankel rotary engine) into the A1 platform was proving too complex and expensive. Shame, if this report is true – I’m looking into it.

Start the week

March 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Some Monday morsels:

– Audi is expected to unveil an ‘e-tron’ plug-in hybrid version of its A1 supermini (pictured) at the opening day of the Geneva Motor Show tomorrow.

– Ferrari is to unveil a 599 Hybrid featuring the F1-developed KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) tech; no pictures we can show you yet, however.

– Avis is to add Renault electric cars to its rental fleets in Europe next year. The electric Fluence saloon and a version of the Kangoo compact MPV are the most likely contenders, though no details have been confirmed as yet; the Twizy scooter-cum-city-car and Zoe minicar could follow onto the fleets.

– Over half of all new cars sold in Europe now emit 140g/km of carbon dioxide or less, according to figures from JATO. Cars emitting 101-120g/km now account for 25.6% of the European car market, an increase of 8.9% on last year’s stats.

– Jaguar Land Rover has developed a micro gas turbine to recharge a hybrid’s batteries whilst on the move. It’s calling the technology an Ultra Lightweight Range Extender (ULRE); more details from Autocar.

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