Audi had us in a tizzy yesterday at the LA Auto show with their new E-Tron Spyder concept, a plug-in hybrid diesel muscle car that looks pretty sweet zipping around the hills of Malibu (video after the jump). The four-wheel drive on demand vehicle, which has a 3.0 liter TDI engine in the back and dueling electric motors at the front wheels, was built around its unique hybrid powertrain and can drive 31 miles in zero-emissions mode before the low emission diesel generator kicks in.
Sadly, this concept probably won’t ever make it to market, though it is rumored that a car that looks like this may join the Audi lineup with a conventional internal combustion engine sometime soon. The drivetrain — possibly more exciting than the design, we know — is tentatively scheduled to appear in 2015 in a replacement for the Audi Q7.
The E-Tron Spyder’s combined diesel engine and electric motors provide a top speed of 155 mph and can do 0-60 in 4.4 seconds. The estimated fuel economy — though no specifics on how this was reached are offered — is 105 miles per gallon. Pretty impressive. The vehicle’s battery is recharged through regenerative breaking and the two electric motors at the front add extra agility by pushing the front wheels through stiff corners smoothly. All this with just 100 grams per mile of emissions — in contrast to that number the EPA hopes most regular cars in the US will meet a 250 gram per mile requirement in 2016 — and gets a 620 mile range on its 13 gallon diesel tank.