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Audi e-tron Spyder

Sometimes things start out great and end up only OK, or perhaps worse. The smell of coffee in the morning. Most Superbowls. A full bottle of Patron. We recently had the opportunity to experience the Audi e-tron and came away excited by the vehicle, but wondering why we got to see so much of it.

The leutes in Ingolstadt have a lot going on. With more Audi vehicles than we have ever seen before and the job of churning out new models in Audi’s quest to be the world leader in luxury, these people are busy. So too is the communications department. Telling the Audi story, or rather, stories, is getting more complex. At VehicleVoice we’ve had plenty of opportunities to drive some of the best cars in the world from the Volkswagen Group, from Beetles and Golfs to Lamborghinis and Bentleys, so we were pretty excited about the opportunity to drive the e-tron Spyder. The detail we failed to remember, in the blur of e-tron stories is that the roadster we were scheduled to drive, was a show car…

Engineering

The e-tron two-seater is outfitted with two modes of propulsion. A 300HP twin-turbo V6 TDI drives the rear wheels with 479 lb-ft of torque. Two electric motors up front provide 259 lb-ft of torque to “boost” performance. Since it’s a show car, it s bit heavy at 3,196 lbs, but still manages to achieve 62mph in 4.4 seconds. A short wheelbase of perfect 50:50 weight distribution had us waiting in anticipation of the drive.

Design

Getting behind the wheel was pure joy. Audi on crack. Sleek. Low. Brushed aluminum. Header less windscreen. First choice after collecting your lottery winnings. The exterior and interior are top-notch. The only control other than the MMI is the automatic gear selector. Car guy heaven.

The Drive

Our drive started at a modern, private residence in the hills above Malibu, so all signs pointed towards automotive nirvana. This is where it gets weird. I’ve been asked several times what the most expensive car I’ve ever driven is. Until recently, I had to admit that it was a Minivan. Albeit a one-off, concept, one million dollar minivan. Not the kind of story a boast is made of. Surely, driving the Audi e-tron would be the trill of a lifetime. Insured for more than 2 million, with specs that make a car guy drool, this was going to be a blast… Just me, an Audi engineer, the e-tron Spyer, a Malibu road and … two black and whites. Yep. You read it right, two black and whites… a 30 MPH speed limit and a new definition of buzz kill. Looks like the attorneys won in the design of this event. While I can understand Audi’s concern, I’m not certain the end result of the invitation was what they had in mind.

What’s Next?

Look to see more e-tron models with plugs, starting with the e-tron A3.

1 Comment

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