VW sparks at Frankfurt with electric concepts

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 15 September 2015

THE world’s biggest auto seller, Volkswagen is leaving no stone unturned to steal the limelight on its home ground, the Frankfurt motor show, which began Sept 15, starting with its range of concept electrically motivated vehicles.

On the eve of the show, VW group members Audi unveiled its MLB-based e-tron quattro battery-electric vehicle; Porsche rolled out the Mission E, its first battery-electric four-seat sports car which offers a 500 km range (and an 800V system); and Volkswagen introduced the new production MQB-based Tiguan, including a Tiguan GTE plug-in hybrid electric model concept.

Volkswagen Group chairman Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn said that “The Porsche Mission E and the Audi e-tron quattro concept are nothing less than a quantum leap for our industry”—both vehicles have an all-electric range of 500km.”

He said the new Volkswagen Tiguan GTE embodies “our determination to systematically take the plug-in hybrid to further classes and segments.”

Winterkorn also announced that Group companies would introduce 20 more electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020—from compact cars to the next Phaeton and Audi A8.

“No commitment to electro-mobility can be any clearer than that.” He said the Group already had the broadest plug-in fleet in the automobile world.



The Audi e?tron quattro concept uses three electric motors: one electric motor drives the front axle, the two others act on the rear axle. Total output is 320 kW. The driver can even mobilise 370 kW and more than 800 N·m of torque temporarily while boosting. The Audi e?tron quattro concept sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds and quickly reaches the electronically governed top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph).

An intelligent drive management system controls the interplay between the motors as appropriate for the situation, with a focus on the greatest possible efficiency. The driver decides on the degree of recuperation, the driving program S or D and the mode of the Audi drive select system.

The large lithium-ion battery is integrated into the floor of the passenger compartment. It gives the Audi e?tron quattro concept a balanced axle load distribution and a low centre of gravity for dynamic handling.

The Combined Charging System (CCS) enables charging with DC or AC electrical current. A full charge with DC electrical current at a charging column with an output of 150 kW takes just around 50 minutes.

As an alternative, the study is equipped with Audi Wireless Charging technology for contactless induction charging. In addition, a large solar roof provides electricity for the drive system battery on sunny days.

The adaptive air suspension, which features controlled damping, lowers the body at higher speeds to reduce drag. The dynamic-all-wheel steering combines a dynamic steering system on the front axle with a steering system for the rear wheels. Depending on speed and the driving situation, they steer either opposite or in the same direction as the front wheels. The Audi e?tron quattro concept thus reacts even more spontaneously and stably, and is also very maneuverable at low speeds.

The car’s drag coefficient measures just 0.25 —a new best for the SUV segment, where figures are usually considerably over 0.30. At speeds from 80 km/h, electrically actuated aerodynamic elements on the engine hood, the flanks and at the rear end direct the flow of air as needed to improve the flow through and around the vehicle. This is one example of the intensive development work in the wind tunnel. Wind noise is low on board the car, and there are no engine noises in an electric car in any case.

The concept study is equipped with all the technologies that Audi has developed for piloted driving: radar sensors, a video camera, ultrasonic sensors and a laser scanner. These technologies are also nearly ready for use in production vehicles.

Porsche Mission E.


Mission E is a four-door, four-seat sport car that delivers more than 600 hp system power and more than 500 km driving range. Features include all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering; zero to 100 km/h acceleration in under 3.5 seconds and a charging time of around 15 minutes to reach an 80 percent charge of electrical energy. Instruments are intuitively operated by eye-tracking and gesture control, some even via holograms—highly oriented toward the driver by automatically adjusting the displays to the driver’s position.

The drive system of the Mission E is entirely new, yet is proven in motor racing. Two permanent magnet synchronous motors (PMSM)—similar to those used in this year’s Le Mans victor, the 919 hybrid—accelerate the sports car and recover braking energy.

Together the two motors produce over 600 hp, and they propel the Mission E to a speed of 100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds and to 200 km/h in under twelve seconds.

The all-wheel drive system with Porsche Torque Vectoring automatically distributes torque to the individual wheels—transfers the drive system’s power to the road, and all-wheel steering gives precise, sporty steering in the desired direction. This makes the Mission E fit for the circuit race track; its lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is under the eight-minute mark.

Porsche is a front-runner in introducing innovative 800-volt technology for the first time. Doubling the voltage—compared to today’s electric vehicles that operate at 400 volts—offers multiple advantages: shorter charging times and lower weight, because lighter, smaller gage copper cables are sufficient for energy transport.

A moveable body segment on the front left wing in front of the driver’s door gives access to the charging port for the innovative “Porsche Turbo Charging” system.

Via the 800-volt port, the battery can be charged to approximately 80 percent of its capacity in around 15 minutes. As an alternative, the technology platform can be connected to a conventional 400-volt charging station, or it can be replenished at home in the garage via convenient inductive charging by simply parking over a coil embedded in the floor of the garage from which the energy is transferred without cables to a coil on the car’s underbody.

The battery is mounted in the car’s underbody and runs the whole length between the front and rear axles. This distributes its weight to the two drive axles uniformly, resulting in exceptionally good balance and an extremely low centre of gravity boosting performance and a sports car feeling.

The body is constructed mainly from aluminium, steel and carbon fibre reinforced polymer. The wheels are made of carbon: the Mission E has wide tire mounted on 21-inch wheels in front and 22-inch wheels at the rear.

Tiguan GTE PHEV.



The Volkswagen brand is showing four versions of the new Tiguan simultaneously at Frankfurt. The production versions are the very sporty Tiguan R-Line, the classic on-road model and a special off-road version. Meanwhile, the Tiguan GTE concept vehicle that has a 160 kW/218 PS plug-in hybrid drivetrain shows how the best-selling compact SUV could further develop.

This Volkswagen, which is being presented as a concept vehicle, can cover a distance of up to 50 km in “E-Mode” driving as an all-electric zero-emission vehicle. Its average fuel consumption (combined) is 1.9 l/100 km; this equates to a co2 emissions figure of 42 g/km. The relatively long electric driving range not only benefits from the externally chargeable lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 13.0 kWh, but also from a solar module that is integrated in the roof. Under ideal conditions, the energy that it generates annually is sufficient to add up to 1,000 km of driving range (Germany 500 km, Southern Europe 800 to 1,000 km), depending on the regional solar radiation power.

The concept car is driven via its front axle by a direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine (1.4 TSI with 115 kW) and an electric motor. The lithium-ion high-voltage battery supplies the electric motor with energy. The Tiguan GTE operates with a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) that was specially developed for hybrid use. The electric motor was integrated into the gearbox housing.

Additional components of the hybrid drive include the power electronics (converts DC power from the battery to AC power for the electric motor) and a charger. The Tiguan GTE can be driven in the described E-Mode or in one of the three other modes Hybrid, Battery Charge, or GTE.

After starting the drive system, the concept vehicle automatically drives off in “E-Mode”. When a minimum charge level of the battery has been reached or when there is very high demand for power, the drive system automatically switches over to the “Hybrid” mode.

It charges the battery regeneratively during deceleration and automatically uses the TSI and/or electric motor according to the driving situation. By pressing the “E-Mode” button, the driver can manually switch to zero-emissions operation if necessary. Exclusively driven by electric motor, the Tiguan then has a top speed of 130 km/h.

Images: Volkswagen.,


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