Audi A1 E-tron Wins Silvretta Electric Car Rally

BY Burnpavement

A total of 32 electric vehicles entered, but Audi outshone everyone at the second Silvretta Electric Car Rally in Austria’s Montafon region.

After three days, 307 kilometres and a total altitude difference of 11,541 metres, the A1 e-tron bearing the number 206 was named the winner of the second Silvretta Electric Car Rally Montafon. The event took place from July 7-9 as part of the 14th Silvretta Classic.

While it was designed with an electric drive system which is ideally suited for city driving, the Audi A1 e-tron won the rally that was held on highly taxing mountain roads with inclines up to 15 per cent, presenting a special challenge to electric vehicles. The Audi Q5 HFC, which was also entered by Audi, achieved sixth place. This was the best final result of all cars with a fuel cell.

The A1 e-tron contains technology that Audi’s development engineers are using to study the mobility requirements for such a future-oriented concept. The technological basis includes an electric motor with a maximum output of 75 kW that is powered by a lithium-ion battery. The battery features a 12 kWh capacity and can be completely charged in 30 minutes (quick charge), or in less than three hours (standard charge). It offers a range of 50 kilometres. To prevent drivers from being stranded by an empty battery, the A1 e-tron also comes equipped with a combustion engine, which can charge the battery as needed. The one-disc rotary engine (254 cc) is located under the trunk floor; it provides 15 kW of output intended solely to charge the battery, rather than to directly power the wheels.

During the rally the A1 e-tron was driven by Franciscus van Meel, Head of Electromobility Strategy at AUDI AG. Long-time Audi employee Gerhard Gruber took on the important role of co-driver. “Sending an electric car into the Alps is one of the toughest challenges you can present it with. The fact that the A1 e-tron proved so impressive here is especially gratifying to me and it proves we’re on the right track with our electric mobility approach of combining an electric motor with a combustion engine. Many thanks to our dedicated team for making our second overall victory in a row possible,” said van Meel after crossing the finish line.

Van Meel then went on to describe the rally itself: “On the first day we drove cautiously and despite a distance of just over 100 kilometres we finished with a lot of electricity left in the battery. On the second day we were better prepared and we were able to win the day; on day three we came in second, and in the end that was enough to win the overall victory. The car ran flawlessly. We’re now looking forward to the 2012 rally. We already have a few ideas about the kind of concepts we’ll enter with, of course.”