Audi A1 e-tron design study live in Geneva. Photos © United Pictures, Int'l.
The 2011 Audi A1 received what was possibly one of the most drawn-out unveilings in web history, and today it made its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. Alongside it is a design study for an extended-range EV, or plug-in hybrid--however you care to call it--that previews the mass-market aspirations of the new e-tron sub-brand.
The A1 and its e-tron cousin share the same basic layout and design, with the A1 powered by a range of conventional engines, and the A1 e-tron using electric motors to drive the wheels. The A1 e-tron also uses a Wankel rotary to perform range-extending duties, topping up the batteries for up to 124 miles of driving range.
Audi claims the A1 is the first truly premium compact car, and is positioning it for success among urban and youth buyers, meaning a sporty, less-expensive, and fuel-efficient overall package. The A1 e-tron aims to maximize the the fuel efficiency and likely targets a higher-end demographic that's less concerned with performance and more with technology and image.