Friday, December 18, 2009

"dead-sexy sports car"

The Audi e-tron -- a spectacularly cool and highly evolved prototype of an electric sports car due from the German giant at the end of 2011 -- may not be the car that crushes California's bold pioneers of electric mobility.

But what it represents could.

In the next couple of years, globe-striding automakers such as Nissan-Renault, Mercedes-Benz, VW Group, GM and Ford will begin cranking out tens of thousands of electric cars. Not just small electric city cars and mid-size family sedans (like GM's Volt and Nissan's Leaf) but powerful, dead-sexy sports cars.

The Audi e-tron, whose only shared component with the look-alike Audi R8 are the halfshafts, will at some point have company in the luxury electric sports car segment in the form of Mercedes' electric-version SLS gullwing (and no, I never thought I'd be writing those words).

This armada of electron-burners will not be diffident, underbaked beta-testers. No asterisks they. These will be -- they have to be -- fully fledged Nissans, Mercedes and VWs, built to these companies' exacting standards and sold at a price that economizes their global scale.

(Dan Neil. L A Times)

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