Audi Busted: Backs Off From Idiotic E-Tron Torque Claim

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
audi busted backs off from idiotic e tron torque claim

It’s going to take a while before the words “EV” and “Idiot” are not inextricably linked with Audi. The company that let it slip that it thought the Volt was “a car for idiots must think we’re idiots too, to swallow their idiotic claim of 3,319 lb.-ft. of torque. We didn’t at the time. Now the truth is out: as some of the commentators then suspected, Audi was using “at the wheel” torque numbers. Thanks to the miracle of gears and their remarkable torque amplifying ways, stating torque at the wheels is about as logical and useful as the Volt’s 230 mpg claim. And EV range claims based on only using the EPA City driving loop. Well, someone took Audi to task, and came up with a confession and a more realistic torque number.

Edmunds Green Car Advisor got Audi to admit that the E-tron puts out a much more realistic 501.5 lb.-ft. at the motor. That compares to the lighter Tesla Roadster’s 273 lb.-ft., which still manages to outrun the E-tron 0-60 by a second or so. So what was Audi thinking?

Audi engineers say they decided to use wheel torque to describe the E-tron’s grunt because it is more reflective of how electric motors deliver their power.

Utter B.S. Put a Jeep with an automatic into low range and first gear, and you’ll have a torque number bigger than a locomotive (pre-reduction, that is). Maybe one of the B&B will do that calculation for us. The automotive industry has never used at the wheel torque numbers, and it’s highly misleading. But there’s an idiot born every minute, and Audi is not going to let us forget it.

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4 of 15 comments
  • Steven02 Steven02 on Dec 22, 2009

    The 3k claim for torque... only requires 1.21 jigawatts of power.

  • Davejay Davejay on Dec 22, 2009
    Something about your website is messing up Safari and Chrome (webkit browsers)get nearly paralyzed by some sort of script. This does not happen with Fire Fox or Camino (gecko browsers). This happens on all three Mac I have access to. Does not happen at work with IE6 thanks I actually have seen this problem for about a week on my mac, on safari AND firefox. I've finally had to start visiting the site with flashblock running. My gut says its one of the ads being served to the site.
  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Dec 22, 2009

    Re torque: And frogs can fly. I've seen them, after a tornado, in the Midwest, cruising through the air. It's quite amazing, really.

  • Darryl Siry Darryl Siry on Dec 22, 2009

    I think the relatively low 0-60 times is because they have geared the car so they can achieve a very high top speed, which is considered important to the germans to claim a car is truly a "supercar" since they actually drive that fast on a regular basis. If they geared the car to the tesla's top speed of 120 or so I'm sure their 0-60 numbers would be pretty quick.