New Audi Electric Test Center

Committed to change the way it manufactures its vehicles in the future, German carmaker Audi announced today the opening of a new development and testing center for electric drive systems at its headquarters in Ingolstadt.

The carmaker will round up some 840 to work on everything even remotely connected to the task at hand. EUR65 million ($90 million) were spent over the past two years to erect a 14,000-square-meter (150,690-square-feet) facility, seven stories high.

“With the new development and testing center for electric drive systems, we’ve reached an important milestone on the way to e-mobility,” said Michael Dick, Audi member of the board for Technical Development. “Consolidating the employees involved in the development process in one area allows solutions to be found quickly and efficiently.”

With the announcement about the new center came Audi's pledge to launch the hybrid version of the Q5 next year, with the R8 e-tron to follow in 2012. The systems of both the vehicles will be tested at the new site.

According to the information available, the hybrid Q5 will be powered by a 2.0l TFSI four-cylinder engine (200 horsepower), paired to an electric motor that will add an extra 45 horsepower, with a total torque of 480 Nm.

The small SUV will be capable of running on electric power for up to 100 km/h (62 mph), but only for 3 kilometers if the average speed exceeds 60 km/h (37.2 mph).

Further investments into the field of electrical propulsion will come for Audi in the years to come, as it plans to spend EUR2.2 billion ($3 billion) for EVs and related technologies by 2012.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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