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Audi e-tron Spyder Diesel Plug-In Hybrid Turns Up At Le Mans

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In recent years at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race there is an event called the Le Mans vers le Futur that takes place before the actual race in which a number of vehicles showcasing future automotive technology takes to the famous Circuit de la Sarthe for a couple of demonstration laps.

Last year we saw the R8 e-tron supercar take to the track and this year another Audi e-tron has made its presence felt at Le Mans, the seductively stylish e-tron Spyder concept car first revealed at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.

As its name suggests, there’s an electrified drivetrain under the pretty mix of sheet metal and carbon fiber. This particular e-tron concept packs an advanced diesel-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which the automaker says is good for a fuel economy of about 107 mpg on the European combined cycle.

The setup consists of a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel engine rated at 300 horsepower driving the rear wheels and two electric motors rated at 63 kW (85) each that drive the front wheels. A lithium-ion battery, located in the front section of the car, stores up to 9.1 kWh of energy. With 400 volts of three-phase alternating current, the battery takes about one hour to charge up at an electrical outlet.

Despite all the technology, the whole thing weighs in at around 3,200 pounds. This relatively light curb weight (for a hybrid) was achieved thanks to an aluminum body built around Audi’s spaceframe principle. A number of elements are also made of carbon fiber to help shed further weight.

According to Audi, the e-tron Spyder will do 31 miles on electricity alone, although in this mode top speed is limited to a paltry 37 mph. With all systems go, however, the concept car will accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 4.4 seconds and easily reach a limited top speed of 155 mph. The estimated driving range is 620 miles, though this is with a mix of spirited and conservative driving.

[Audi via MotorAuthority]

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