Truth: It's going to be quite a few years until an electric car can make use spill the milkshake in our trousers like a super car from Italy can. That said, this trailer of the 2014 Audi e-tron Spyder being tested on the roads near Malibu, California does make us hopefully that someday all those megawatts will cause a automobile-stimulated spark below the belt.
AutoBlog got behind the wheel of this Jetson's-esque whip for a quick spin. Here's what they had to say:
You could say this about many cars, but the e-tron Spyder looks especially right at home on the many hidden canyon roads reaching into the Santa Monica Mountains of the Malibu coast. This is the type of area where imported sports car culture became legend in America. And with fine weather and curves like these, it all comes rushing back, even though our drive in the e-tron Spyder showcar prototype is limited to a paltry 40 miles per hour. Actually, once the electric motors and V6 TDI are working together in "boost" mode, we can reach an overrun speed of 45 mph and give the Ingolstadt engineers a sleepless night or two. Hey, that's nearly 75 kmh! Not too bad for a one-off showcar worth a reported $2.7 million.
The two electric motors on the forward axle are good for a total of 89 horsepower, and their juice gets combined with a rear-mounted, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 TDI's producing 296 hp, for a grand total during full boost mode of 385 hp. While torque at the wheels in these e-hybrid cases can be a delicate science, Audi's head of showcar/prototype development Uwe Haller tells Autoblog that the torque from the two electric motors from 0 rpm is really around 260 pound-feet versus anything like the theoretical 1,950 lb-ft at the 12,000-plus rpm spindle advertised for the e-tron coupe. In other words, Audi has started wisely giving us the actual torque numbers where the rubber meets the road surface. In boost phase of acceleration, the maximum torque for this spyder stands at 739 lb-ft between the bi-turbo diesel V6 and two electric units. In the end, the 3,200-pound e-tron Spyder could dash to 60 mph in approximately 4.2 seconds.
Read the full review here.