When one thinks of a sports car, among the things that come to mind; it would be highly unlikely to have a diesel powered hybrid system. Not only is this type of hybrid system very heavy, which typically is a no no for a sports. But this powertrain would sound more like something you would find in an SUV or something of the like.
Well, Audi is of the opinion that it would make a pretty good system for a sports car. This is why their new e-tron Spyder concept is powered by a diesel hybrid system.
At the heart of the e- tron is a twin turbo direct injection V6 diesel with a power output of 300 ponies. Accompanying that are two electric motors with a power output of 44hp each. Not as shabby as one would be inclined to think after hearing “diesel powered hybrid system”. Now off course, as was stated previously, this power train along with it’s batteries and fuel tank are very heavy, bringing the e-trons weight to just under 32,000 lbs and that is a lot. Especially when you consider that Audi went to great lengths t save on weight. They ditched accessories such as the air conditioning and a glove box. They even ditched the roof to save the AC.
Despite the weight the e-tron Spyder handles fairly well due to it’s 50:50 weight distribution since most of the weight is located between the two axles. This Audi also has a really cool system to aid even further in handling it. This is called a torque vectoring system. What this does is allow the power to be pushed from side to side, thanks to the aid of the two electric motors. This vectoring system allows for superb handling of the e-tron.
The suspension for the e-tron consists of variable rate coilover dampers and multilink set up in the back with a one off SLA system in the front. Audi claims that with all of this, the e-tron can achieve 107 mpg and the 9.1 kWh battery pack can achive 30 miles of round town driving.
Though the e-tron is merely a concept and may never ever go into production, there is talk of a possibility of it actually going into production with a different power plant altogether. But whether it does or not, Audo has certainly shown how an unlikely candidate to power a sports car can work so well.