By on September 15, 2009

3,319 lb·ft of torque from four electric motors, and the best 0-60 time Audi came up with for its E-Tron concept was 4.8 seconds? Thanks but, uh, we’re not idiots.

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11 Comments on “Audi Unveils Concept Car for Idiots...”

  • avatar

    It’s probably torque-limited at low speeds to avoid melting the tires.

  • avatar

    Yep, some Germans just over-emphasize torque.

    Power is measure in Watt (or hp).

  • avatar

    First, there is no relationship between torque and 0-60 time. I could generate that much torque by standing on a 15 foot long wrench. 0-60 time is more related to power than torque.

    Second, the quoted torque is more than likely at 0 rpm as this is typically where electric motors generate peak torque. At 30 mph the available torque is probably much lower.

    Is there a horse power (or kilowatt) rating available?

  • avatar

    Electric motors (steam engines too) have maximum torque at 0 RPM. As RPMs build, torque goes down and power goes up. Hence, the high torque but low 0 – 60 time. Torque gives acceleration, but HP gives speed. The electric Audi produces high torque but low power.


  • avatar

    FRANKFURT, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ — Audi presents the highlight of the IAA 2009: the e-tron, a high-performance sports car with a purely electric drive system. Four motors – two each at the front and rear axles – drive the wheels, making the concept car a true quattro. Producing 230 kW (313 hp) and 4,500 Nm (3,319.03 lb-ft) of torque, the two-seater accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.14 mph) in 4.8 seconds, and from 60 to 120 km/h (37.28 – 74.56 mph) in 4.1 seconds. The lithium-ion battery provides a truly useable energy content of 42.4 kilowatt hours to enable a range of approximately 248 kilometers, or 154 miles.

    Given the 313 horsepower rating, the 0-60 time seems more reasonable.

  • avatar

    3319 lb-ft is probably collective wheel/axle torque. On a conventional car… a single 500 lb-ft engine through a 3:1 first gear and a 3:1 final drive would yield 4500 lb-ft (9×500) at the axle, without even considering what an automatic transmission torque converter would add to that (perhaps another 2x). So with 830 lb-ft per wheel 4.8 seconds seems OK.

  • avatar

    Yeah but I hear it gets 4000 mpg.

  • avatar

    Anything above ~ 700 lb-ft is pointless as it would just cause wheelspin and rubber burning.

    Audi’s claims are just as meaningless as Tesla Roadster claims of 256 mpg economy.

  • avatar

    Again… the reason >700 lb-ft is “pointless” is due to the >9:1 torque multiplication at the wheels with a conventional car. This the total torque in the motors of this Audi vehicle is the equivalent to less than 400 lb-ft on any car we’re otherwise familiar with.

  • avatar

    @ TR4

    …. there is no relationship between torque and 0-60 time.

    That statement makes no sense. Check here.

    Assuming the correct gearing and a little simplistically; torque = acceleration, while power = maximum speed.

  • avatar

    Well perhaps I should have said “the relationship between peak torque and 0-60 time is very tenuous”. The fact that it is not a good predictor of 0-60 time is obvious from Mr. Neidemeyer’s original story.

    Of course torque must be applied to a wheel to make the vehicle accelerate. However once the vehicle is moving one must apply torque at increasingly higher RPM. And the product of torque and RPM is… guess what…power!

    What most automotive journalists and many others fail to understand is that it is drive wheel torque (not engine torque) that is important. The best acceleration AND the highest top speed will occur when a gear is selected to put the engine at its peak horsepower. The engine will not be producing peak torque but when combined with the gearing the drive wheels will be getting peak torque (AND power).

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