The 2011 Chevrolet Volt is “a car for idiots,” if you’re to believe Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen. If that’s so, that would make Audi’s e-tron concept a preview of an electric car for rich idiots.
You could almost read Audi’s bad-mouth strategy as a juvenile and jealous response to the fact that they don’t have a full-fledged electric car development program, but you'd be wrong. Economical plug-in appliances are for blokes with no soul. No gumption. No sense of spirit. But they're in the future for Audi shoppers--and soon.
For designers like me, there are two different schools of thought when it comes to electric cars--the first being General Motors’ idea of an electric car for the masses. The second, more exciting approach is the Tesla model: electric cars are fantastic flights of fancy, but without style, panache, and a simplistic sense of enjoyment, they’re really no better than the plastic and glass machine that blends my eggs with scotch each morning. They’re both electric and they both get me from point A (sober) to point B (drunk).
Audi realized this and, as such, developed two different electric concepts. The initial car, and arguably the better looking of the two, was the R8-based 2009 e-tron shown both at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show and at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The second, fully-redesigned 2010 Audi e-tron concept made its debut last week at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.
The new car is said to be a near-perfect preview of the low-volume, production-bound, electric-driven Audi R4. No better time than now to really get in and dissect its controversial design, then, correct? That said, sit back, relax, and enjoy the first installment of our new Design Dissection series featuring the 2010 Audi e-tron Concept.
Hey kids--High Gear Media's welcoming a Web favorite to the family this week. Golf clap, please, for Ryan O'Keefe, who's going to bring you his styling eye to MotorAuthority once a week. Because, well, you deserve it. You can bookmark his posts at High Gear Media's homepage or just read everything here, as usual.--The HGM Team