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Audi e-tron concept gets production go-ahead

by Drew Johnson

With an all-electric version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG officially in the production pipeline, Audi has given the production nod to its e-tron electric concept. The Audi e-tron concept made its world debut at last month's Frankfurt Motor Show.

According to Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen, the production version of the e-tron concept will arrive is U.S. dealerships by 2012, but could find its way to the showroom floor as early as 2011. "I expect we will see running examples in the next 24 months," de Nysschen told Automotive News.

Although visually similar to Audi's R8 supercar, the e-tron is actually 6.5 inches shorter than the R8. At 168 inches in length, the e-tron is slightly larger than the TT sports car.

Power for the e-tron show car is provided by four electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack. Thanks to a whopping 3,319 lb-ft of torque, Audi claims the e-tron can scoot from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, all while providing an all-electric range of 158 miles.

No word on e-tron pricing from Audi, be we suspect the production car will carry a price tag well into the six-figure range.