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Audi e-tron

A revised version of the two-seater electric Audi e-tron sports car, with its incredible 2,650Nm of torque, is making an appearance at the Detroit Show.

This second concept is smaller, and with lightweight aluminium Audi Space Frame technology and carbon fibre reinforced plastic body, it now weighs in at just 1,350kg, even with its 400kg lithium ion battery pack.

With two electric motors mounted on the rear axle, the e-tron has a 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.9 seconds, a top speed of 124mph, and a range of 155 miles

The e-tron distributes the huge torque from its electric motors to the rear wheels using “torque vectoring” which Audi says will ensure useable traction. Understeer and oversteer can be corrected by not only targeted activation of the brakes, but also by precise increases in power lasting just a few milliseconds.

The lithium-ion batteries are located behind the passenger compartment and in front of the rear axle to help with a weight distribution of 40:60. The handling promises to be entertaining thanks to a wheelbase almost nine inches shorter than the R8.

A heat pump – commonly used in buildings – heats up and maintains the interior temperature, as, unlike a combustion engine, the electric drive system generally does not produce enough waste heat to effectively heat the interior.

When parked at a charging station, the e-tron sends details of the current charge status to the driver’s smartphone. The charging time when the battery is empty is around 11 hours from a domestic power source, but heavy current (400 volts, 32 amperes) cuts this to around just two hours.

The battery is also charged when the car is in motion by recuperation, when, during braking, the alternator converts the kinetic energy into electrical energy, which it then feeds into the on-board electrical system.

The e-tron also has an electro-mechanical brake system in order to exploit the potential of electric motors for energy recovery. By being isolated from the brake pedal, the electric motors can convert the entire deceleration energy into electric current and recover it.