Audi F12 Electric Car Prototype Shows Off Best Of Tech

An ambitious green car technology project Audi has been taking part of is wrapping after three years, and its net result is what is described as a multi-module technology platform that’s being called “a major advance for electric mobility.” All of this is being showcased through what is, in some regards, the ultimate electric car – the F12.

Audi said the F12, which looks like a production R8 on the outside, represents what is described as the “eSport” model of the technology platform. One of the highest profile items of this platform is the high voltage batteries that powers the electric car. It has two separate blocks with an overall capacity of more than 38 kWh and is built in such a way that it can more sturdily withstand a collision. The batteries are switchable, delivering different output voltages of 144 or 216 volts. Under part load, the voltage is around 200 volts to maximize efficiency, and when increasing power demand and speed is needed, this increases to as much as 440 volts.

Audi F12

image via Audi

The battery system powers three different electric motors, each of which can be controlled separately. Audi noted that “during slow driving, only the synchronous motor at the front axle is active. At higher speeds, the performance-optimized asynchronous motors at the rear axle come into play. Together the three electric motors produce 150 kW (204 hp) and 550 Nm (405.66 lb-ft) of torque.”

Another innovative part of this platform is the heat pump for the thermal management of the drive system and the interior. It both “regulates the temperature of the batteries depending on the situation and can also store heat in them so that less energy is required to heat the interior the next time the car is driven.”

As with other concept vehicles we’ve seen in the past, how one controls the F12 is fairly technologically focused. One controls basic drive functions – Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive – by operating buttons on the center tunnel. All other operations are controlled via a tablet computer that can be removed from the center console. A user-programmable instrument cluster presents all key information in high resolution.

The “e performance” research project that produced the F12 was a collaboration between Audi, Bosch and several institutes at the RWTH Aachen University. The technical universities of Munich, Dresden and Ilmenau, Leibniz University Hanover, the Fraunhofer institutes IESE and IISB as well as Forschungsgesellschaft Kraftfahrwesen mbH Aachen were also members of the consortium, which also received support from the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research.

It is envisioned the elements learned from this project can be used in a variety of electric vehicles, ranging from sport car ideas like the F12 to a sedan to a city car. Follow up projects are already under way, and some are showing what is said to be good prospects for later production use.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply October 20, 2012


    150 miles of routine driving or 75 of wild and crazy. Agree? Kudos Audi!

  • Reply October 20, 2012

    Robert DeDomenico

    Definitely an overcomplicated albatross, something for people who already have everything, and no longer care if what they acquire next ought even to have been built. I hope we don’t waste public funds on this farce.

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    Jon Bruckner

    Robert DeDomenico – What do you care where the funding comes from? It’s not even made in America. If another country wants to develop technology that will eventually overwhelm our own, it’s their business. We can just keep building the same old antiquated junk for another hundred years to please our republican regressives, their oil company masters, and the global-warming-denier crack pots that they all endorse. Can you say “Lack of Vision?”

  • Reply October 21, 2012

    Robert DeDomenico

    Sure, Jon, you have a lack of vision. Do you think that these electric cars save any energy? That argument is a farce. They just burn different fuel. My vision is a better solution. It is electric, but not battery. It’s the battery that will never do. And I do care that too much of that funding comes from tax revenue, even the imports get $7500 thrown at the buyer from the IRS in forgone revenue. Why? Because they think that they need to make believe that they are doing their part? Nothing could be further from the truth.

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