Volkswagen AG and its various brands reigned supreme at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show where it brought so many models that it filled an entire building. It probably just wanted to beat General Motors, which is the currently the largest foreign automaker in China. Visitors flocked to Volkswagen’s models but when it comes to the biggest draw, it appears to be Lamborghini's controversial Urus concept SUV.
The most significant introduction would be that of the Audi RS Q3 concept, a sporty little crossover that is part of Audi’s plan for its range to expand downmarket into the compact luxury segment. Audi, the biggest luxury brand in China, will soon have an assembly plant located in Foshan that will make the A3 compact car.
If this plant operates at full capacity, there’s no doubt then that the A3 will serve as Audi's volume leader in China. Audi has previously been the favorite of Chinese bureaucrats but is now transforming itself into a brand for young entrepreneurs. BMW and Mercedes won’t go without a fight as it intends to take nearly the same moves as they enter China's entry-level luxury market.
Audi officially unveiled during the 2012 Auto Chine held in Beijing the brand’s first ever luxury-class e-tron concept car. Dubbed as the Audi A6 L e-tron concept, this technology study is fitted with a parallel hybrid system which combines an electric motor with a TFSI engine. The 2.0-liter TFSI engine is able to offer output of 211 hp (155 kW) while the electric motor can deliver 95 hp (70 kW) of power.
With the lithium-ion liquid-cooled batter being placed in the rear area, this helps protect it from collisions. When running solely on electricity, the A6 L e-tron concept is able to reach a maximum range of 80 km (49.71) while running at a constant rate of 60 km/h (37.28 mph). However, the hybrid control module is able to determine what operating mode is suitable for the current condition to ensure maximum range. The unveiling in China is not without purpose as Audi hopes this will mark the next step when it comes to China’s electric mobility.
In fact, the maximum driving range previously mentioned was implemented in order to meet the needs of Chinese customers. Given that plug-in hybrids can travel long distances even when under electric mode, this means it is a good option for those living in fast growing megacities. Electric mode also means that this vehicle can be driven without any guilt due to zero emissions.
Since this is the first model to have the e-tron technology and be offered in the luxury segment, Audi is also showing what a New Energy Vehicle that is locally manufactured looks like. This e-tron concept used the A6 L as a basis not only because it is by far the most successful premium model of the brand but also since it is the best-selling from Audi in the Chinese market.
The A6 L itself was manufactured at a facility located in Changchun under a joint agreement with FAW. Aside from the driver system, the A6 L e-tron concept has all of the signature characteristics that customers love from an Audi and these are sporty performance, comfort, and prestige.