The e-tron, Audi’s electric sports car concept, continues to evolve since its debut at Frankfurt 2009, and this version in Detroit features a more compact aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic hybrid body that’s closer to the production car, which will go on sale in late 2012.

The latest e-tron measures 3.93m long (from 4.26m), 1.78m wide (from 1.9m) and 1.22m tall (from 1.23m). Its 1,350 kg gross weight is also lower by 250 kg.

While the Frankfurt e-tron had four motors, it’s now down to two asynchronous electric motors mounted on the rear axle. With a combined output of 201 bhp and 2,650 Nm, the e-tron accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds with a limited 200 km/h top speed. The monumental torque propels the Audi from 60 to 120 km/h in a mere 5.1 seconds. Range is 250 km. The e-tron is charged with household current (230 volts, 16 amperes) via a cable and a plug. Full charging time takes 11 hours.

Audi claims agile “go-kart” handling from the e-tron’s torque vectoring system, low weight, short wheelbase and weight distribution (rear biased at 40:60). The 399 kg lithium-ion battery pack is located behind the passenger compartment and ahead of the rear axle for optimal centre of gravity.

More pictures after the jump.

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