While BMW's Mini E is garnering all sorts of attention Audi is quietly planning a full line of alternative fuel vehicles ranging from a tiny city car to a speedy sportback. There are five potential vehicles in the works, currently referred to with ambiguous monikers E1 through E5. Details on the program are sketchy at this point, but according to a source close to Audi the program breaks down like this:
Audi E1: This will be the smallest of the group, based on the VW Up! sub compact concept. The car will initially be offered with small gas and diesel engines, but an electric motor may be introduced after launch. While a hybrid is possible with the four door version, the size of the three door variant would eliminate that option.
Audi E2: Enthusiasts rejoice over this two-door green sports car. Based on the VW Concept BlueSport, the E2 would compete with the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Two three cylinder engines would be offered at first (one being a direct injected gas engine and the other a turbo diesel), but an electric version is possible. Audi is concerned that an electric powertrain would raise the price of the vehicle by nearly $7,000 though, so this may be a long shot.
Audi E3: This will be the reincarnation of the Audi A2. Using a lot of aluminum and Audi's modular transverse component system (MQB) platform should keep costs and weight down. Due to the price point of this tiny car, electrification is not anticipated.
Audi E4: The Audi Roadjet introduced as a concept in 2006 reappears in the form of the Audi E4. Imagine the E3 on steroids and you've got the picture. This versatile tall-roofed vehicle with Sportback dynamics would be the natural choice for a plug-in hybrid variant.
Audi E5: Add another gas-sipping sports car to the mix. The E5 will likely be based on the Audi A1 sportback or the mid-engine R-line platform and yes, there will be an S version.
Prepare for a Bavarian battle royale in the future of electric transportation.
Source: Car Magazine