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Bionic Future: The Audi e-tron Spyder

October 19, 2011 by Matt

2010 Audi e-tron etron Spyder Convertible Cabrio

Audi has been allowing limited road testing of their e-tron Spyder diesel-electric hybrid concept car. Arguably a more successful design than that of the coupe version, the car represents a statement by the German automaker about its future both design- and engineering-wise.

Motivated by the combined efforts of a mid-mounted 296 hp twin-turbo diesel V6 driving the rear wheels and a pair of 43 hp electric motors powering the fronts, the e-tron Spyder will scoot from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.3 seconds. Design-wise, the car seems to take the “Tron” part of “e-tron” name quite literally in its retro-futurism. Perhaps more than any other concept car, the e-tron embodies what we thought “cars of the future” would look like from the vantage point of the mid-’80s. It’s a compelling amalgam of the retro and forward-looking, blended so completely that specific cues that connect with either theme are difficult to pick out. The overall effect, though, resonates emotionally by tapping into a kind of nostalgia at the same time it points the way forward. Put another way, the e-tron Spyder at once looks like concept cars we’ve seen before as well as cars we’ll see in the future. It’s a fascinating effect.

In addition to giving automotive journalists restricted wheel time, Audi provides a video of the car in action. It’s well-made, and worth viewing.

Filed under: Alternative Propulsion, Audi, News

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