Audi has approved a new strategy to build a range of eco cars. The plan was given the green light just before Christmas and will spawn a family of clean, low CO2 cars, dubbed internally E1 to E5 and spanning everything from a small city car to sports cars.
In mid-December 2008, the strategy board rubber-stamped the proposed E1 entry-level eco-car. It’s Audi’s response to homegrown rival BMW’s Project i – a suite of innovative, low-emissions models to keep premium car sales buoyant in a carbon age.
Audi E1: the electric car
The smallest clean Audi is dubbed E1 and is based on Volkswagen’s NSF family. That’s essentially the sub-Polo mini car based on the VW Up concept, which will also be badged as a Seat and Skoda. However, Audi won’t dabble with badge engineering and will rebody the E1, so it looks quite different inside and out to the VW Up pictured.
Audi E2: the eco sports car
Don’t assume all the clean Audis will be dull. E2 is Audi’s iteration of the VW BlueSport concept car – and it’ll be a mid-engined sports car aimed at the Mazda MX-5 family. Clean aero, light weight and a string of stingy powerplants will ensure the E2 is a clean, green sports car. Audi favours a pair of three-cylinder engines: a 1.2 FSI (75bhp/110Nm) or 1.2 TDI (75bhp/180Nm).
Audi E3: the A2 reborn!
Audi launched a stellar tech showcase in the 1990s A2. It mixed aluminium tech, futuristic styling and preceded BMW’s Mini by several years. Now the company is preparing to relaunch the A2, dubbed E3. It will again use aluminium-intensive construction and be based on the cost-efficient MQB matrix due for the 2011 A3 hatch.
Audi E4: the Roadjet gets a second chance
There’s a new name and a second chance for the Audi Roadjet concept which quietly disappeared after its debut at the 2006 Detroit auto show.
Audi E5: another new eco-friendly sports car
By 2014, Audi plans another green sports car. It should come as good news for enthusiasts worried about the future of fast cars. Details remain scarce at the moment (we’re talking a 2014 launch here) and neither the content nor donor model have been defined.
Source: Car Magazine