Mike Stevens | Jan 12, 2010

DUBBED SIMPLY (and oddly) 'Detroit Showcar Audi e-tron', Audi has revealed a new variant of its upcoming e-tron all-electric sports car.

While Audi has confirmed that around 1000 e-trons will be built to order, it has offered no firm details on whether this latest variant will follow the earlier e-tron into production.

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With its more traditional coupe styling, the Detroit Showcar Audi e-tron sets itself apart from the 'regular' e-tron by utilising just two electric motors instead of four, powering the rear wheels only.

The combined output of the two electric motors making 150kW and 2650Nm of torque (although Audi has chosen to measure the total combined torque of its e-tron cars at the wheels, making the actual figure closer to 200-300Nm), the new e-tron concept is designed for a 0-100km/h sprint of just 5.9 seconds.

Top speed is limited to 200km/h, and thanks to the instant torque delivered by the electric motors, it will run from 60 to 120km/h in just 5.1 seconds.

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Weighing in at 1350kg, the DSA e-tron maintains a 40:60 weight distribution thanks to the 400kg lithium-ion battery pack sitting fore of the rear wheels.

Keeping weight down, the Detroit Showcar Audi e-tron is built with Audi's Space Frame technology, combining aluminium and carbon fibre-reinforced composites.

According to Audi, the latest e-tron variant will cover a range of 250km before needing a recharge. A full recharge is achieved in 11 hours.

An electro-mechanical brake system allows better energy recovery, with a hydraulic fixed caliper brake mounted on the front axle and two electrically actuated floating caliper brakes mounted at the rear axle.

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The floating calipers are actuated by wire rather than any mechnical or hydraulic mechanism, eliminating friction loss from residual slip when the brakes are not in use.

As a result of their isolation from the brake pedal, the the e-tron's electric motors are able to convert all of their deceleration energy into electric current, recovering it for additional power.

Like the e-tron concept before it, this new e-tron variant sits on 19-inch, 35-spoke wheels, shod with 235/35 tyres at the front and 255/35 tyres at the rear.

With the unveiling of this new Detroit Showcar Audi e-tron, it remains to be seen which of its electric sports cars Audi will put into production, or whether the newer technology shown in this new variant will make it into the limited run of 1000 built-to-order cars.

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