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China: Audi Unveils A6 L e-tron Plug-in Hybrid: 2012 Bejing Auto Show

Earlier today, German automaker Audi unveiled the latest in its e-tron plug-in concept cars at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

Based upon the A6 L, a highly-popular Chinese-only variant of the A6 sedan, the A6 L e-tron plug-in hybrid concept combines a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct injected gasoline engine and a 70 kilowatt peak electric motor to deliver a total of 306 horsepower.

Audi claims the concept is capable of traveling up to 50 miles in all-electric mode at a constant speed of 37 mph, but doesn’t detail how large the A6 L e-tron’s liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack is.

Much like the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the Audi A6 L e-tron is a series parallel hybrid, meaning it can operate in all-electric, gasoline-only, or combined power modes, allowing the driver to choose between performance or economy driving styles.

Since it uses the same chassis as the existing Audi A6 L, the A6 L e-tron concept uses 10 percent aluminum in its body panels, which Audi claims makes it 15 percent lighter than a conventional steel-bodied car.

In addition, Audi has hinted that any production version of the car could use carbon fiber-reinforced polymers to help make future e-tron models even lighter.
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