electric motors at Audi

From electrically powered compressors to Le Mans race cars – electric motors are in the ascendancy at Audi, be they high-voltage or 48 volt. Here are six examples.

Audi A4 Avant g-tron

The new g-tron model runs CO2-neutrally on Audi e-gas, which is produced using electricity generated from renewable sources. Audi is pursuing its very own route toward the mobility of the future.

The new g-tron model, which comes to market in 2016, is driven by a TFSI which runs on fossil and synthetic natural gas. However, the primary energy source is electricity – green electricity from wind power.

Just like its sister model from the A3 range, the new A4 Avant g-tron is completely CO2-neutral on Audi e-gas. Audi is working hard with specialist partners to push forward the development of further alternative fuels – Audi e-fuels. In all projects, eco-electricity and CO2 serve as the primary starting points for production.

Drivers of the Audi A4 Avant g-tron will be able to fill up at many German CNG fuel stations using an Audi e-gas card, which serves as an accounting method. The amount of gas filled up is then fed back into the network from the Audi e-gas facility. Located in Werlte in Lower Saxony, it uses eco-electricity to produce synthetic methane from water and CO2.

Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro

With the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro, the brand with the four rings is showing that it is also a master of fuel-cell technology. Audi can enter series production in this field, too, when the market and infrastructure justify it.

The Audi e-gas facility in Werlte, Lower Saxony, uses electricity from wind energy to split water into oxygen and hydrogen via electrolysis. This gas is currently being used in a further step to make Audi e-gas. In future, however, the hydrogen can be used to power cars such as the A7 Sportback h-tron quattro. They will thenhave not only zero local emissions, but also zero global emissions.

The A7 Sportback h-tron quattro is the first fuel-cell car with quattro drive. An electric motor drives each of the front and rear wheels. The e-quattro concept delivers sporty performance with a peak output of 228 kW and up to 540 Nm of torque. In the rear end is a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 8.8 kWh, which delivers powerful added boost under heavy acceleration.The four hydrogen pressure tanks  provide a range of more than 500 km and can be completely filled within three minutes.

The Audi A7 Sportback h-tron quattro introduces another future technology. The “h” in its designation stands for the element hydrogen, i.e. for fuel-cell drive.
Audi RS 5 TDI competition concept

The dynamic coupe also has a 3.0 TDI under its hood. It works with an electrically powered, 48-volt compressor. The result is plenty of shove in any given situation.

Audi Q7e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro

The full-size SUV is the second Audi model with plug-in hybrid drive and it sets benchmarks in its class. A V6 TDI and a powerful electric motor deliver supreme power – with minimal fuel consumption.

Audi R18

The sheer dynamism of Audi’s electromobility is shown to its full extent on the race track. The hybrid drive of the Audi R18, the WEC race car for the 2016 season, is configured to the regulations set by motorsport – the most intensive test environment for production development.

In contrast to last year, Audi will run in the class up to six megajoules in 2016. The new sports prototype, which still has a V6 TDI with a four-liter displacement, can regenerate significantly more energy per lap than its predecessor. The electricity stor age medium is a high-voltage battery, which takes over from the flywheel storage used in the R18 e-tron quattro. The aerodynamicsof the Audi R18 have  also been redeveloped from the ground up.

Motorsport is a fixed element of Audi’s DNA. The brand with the four rings has been testing new technologies in competition for the last 35 years. The 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) are crucial test beds, as this is where those responsible for setting the regulations are actively promoting technical innovation.

Motorsport is a firm feature of Audi DNA. The R18, the WEC race car for the 2016 season, shows the dynamic potential of hybrid drive.
Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro

6.2 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, but fuel consumption of just 1.8 liters per 100 kilometers in the NEDC. With its plug-in hybrid drive, the Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro is bringing together the best of both worlds.

Powerful acceleration, a top speed of 230 km/h and minimal fuel consumption in the NEDC – the multi-faceted Audi Q7 e-tron 3.0 TDI quattro will commence customer delivery in 2016. The full-size SUV is the first plug-in hybrid worldwide with a V6 TDI engine and quattro

The three-liter diesel and electric motor deliver a total system output of 275 kW (373 hp) and 700 Nm of torque. The electric motor alone generates 94 kW and 350 Nm. It has a range of 56 kilometers in batteryelectric drive, with a total range of up to 1,320 kilometers possible with the 75- liter fuel tank.

The thermal management system with the integrated heat pump, which was spe cifically developed for the Audi Q7 e-tron, uses waste heat generated by the electrical components. Audi is the first manufacturer worldwide to bring this technology to market in a plug-in hybrid. The MMI Navigation plus works closely with the hybrid management and the predictive efficiency assistant uses its near-field information to help save fuel. These two systems also make a major contribution to efficiency.

Audi RS 5 TDI competition concept

The technology showcase is one of the fastest and most powerful diesel cars in the world. It’s all-new, electrically powered compressor is a major factor in that.

The RS 5 TDI competition concept is based on a study presented by Audi in 2014 to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the TDI engine and weighs 241 kilograms less than the production model. In its latest evolution, the three-liter TDI biturbo generates 320 kW (435 hp) and 800 Nm of torque – enough to sprint from zero to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds. Last summer, driving the Audi RS 5 TDI competition concept, Danish race driver Nicki Thiim broke the record time for diesel cars on the Sachsenring by 1.87 seconds – adjudicated by Auto Bild Sportscars.

One crucial innovation is an electrically powered compressor (EAV), which works in addition to the two exhaust gas turbochargers. A small electric motor with an output of seven kilowatts accelerates the turbine rotor to as much as 72,000 rpm in 250 milliseconds. Thanks to EAV technology, the RS 5 TDI competition concept has high charge pressure at its disposal extremely quickly in any situation.

The EAV uses a 48-volt supplementary vehicle electric system. It enables rapid trans mission of large amounts of electrical energy and is a major element in Audi’s electrification strategy.


Johannes Köbler (text), Steven Pope (illustrations)

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