Audi started its press conference different than others, different than others with problems with recalls and associated turmoil. They hit it head on at the beginning of their press conference. Rather than ignore the pink elephant in the room the addressed it. They apologized for violating their customers trust with the clean diesel and what has now been determined to be a deliberate effort to foil emissions testing with programming that senses when a car is in test mode to run its cleanest. They said they will make their customers whole and resolve the problem. They promised to win their customers respect and loyalty back.
They discussed the A3 e-tron which was one of the Green Car of the Year nominees. Its really a nice A3 that just so happens to have been electrified as a plug in hybrid. Making a total 204hp and 243 ft lbs of torque this compact hybrid tops its competition in terms of power and performance yet returns up to 30 miles in EV mode and EPA tests at 87MPe in EV mode and 39 MPG combined in gas mode. Certainly not prius numbers, but its not a prius. Its an Audi and it gives up nothing in terms of performance, luxury or build quality. Its an Audi dammit and you don't compromise the experience. Its worth the slightly lower number from a prius for an Audi in my not so humble.
The big news however was the E-tron Quatrro concept and its North American debut. It promises to be a competitively priced (with what...Tesla Model x?) full sized all electric EV with a range of 300 miles. Enough for a non-stop Vegas run something no EV today can claim. Creature comforts and performance of an Audi are promised in the production model when it releases in a couple of years. Unlike other manufacturers releasing EVs, this won't be a CA release only, it will be national.
More pics from Press Days at the L.A Auto Show in a flickr album