Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Asterio vs AUDI's eTron and VW's BlueSport

If you are looking for the Asterio Roadster website, try this link.

Although I wouldn't buy an electric car... and definitely would never ever buy an electric Sports car.
And Diesel.. well no thanks!
The market, however, does... and so, they are comming!
I decided to take a good look on the Asterio's competition.

So let's meet our contestants:
1st - Asterio Roadster




2nd - VW BlueSport



3rd - AUDI e-Tron


Now lets just brainstorm on this:

1st - The design
They all look like brothers! The BlueSport looks less Audi than the Asterio... but they do share lines!
This is a clearly intelligent move from Asterio. Different enough to notice, but not enough to fall out of the "audi buyer" target... or maybe this design has an even deeper commercial purpose.

2nd - TheChassis
Here, and considering the fact that the Asterio's generis is F1, It's the CLEAR winner. No doubts. It's however not a beater because of some very very clever tricks audi just didn't let go... until now.
The BlueSports and ETron will probably share the same chassis platform (it's not clear to me as the drive train is so much different.. but the VAG modularity concepts should come through).
Asterio offers a MR solution for each and every engine.
VW offers MR for the BlueSport.
AUDI offers a AWD very clever Torque Vectoring solution... the Asterio might be in trouble here. I'm sure that nothing beats the steering feedback purity and on the limit handling that the Asterio provides with this kind of chassis, but the handling of grip cornering and over the grip limit recovery of the Audi might me something that's completely new and ultimately better.
The torque vectoring solution is an EXTREME solution to what the Nissan GTR active differentials are. Each wheel will put the necessary power to the ground depending on how you need it and how the pavement / chassis can apply-it. Being electrical however, it will have instant and maximum torque (this might just be pure dynamite). It should corner like on rails... and this is a real problem... Jeremy Clarkson's neck didn't handle the immense G's the GTR produced around the race track... how will it DIGEST this Torque Vectoring... better stay away from this one Jezza!

3rd - The Engines
Here the Asterio has a good positioning. You can buy an electric Asterio, 2 different Diesel Asterios and a very very impressive V8 11.000rpm Asterio.
VAG however is not entirely sleeping. The VW BlueSports is the Diesel offer and the Audi ETron the Electrical one... as for the TRUE sports models, well the VAG group offers the R8 but the price scale will probably just make people shift to the much better chassis suited Asterio.

Now on the Diesel front-end, Asterio Offers the 2.2 IL4 500nm and the 3.0 V6 700nm torque ... against what seems to be a unique offer of a 2.0 IL4 350nm from VW. Seems like the Asteiro has it fully covered and with a huge comfort margin.

On the Electric front-end, Asterio does have a problem. Audi is offering the Etron with 680nm electric engines... 680nm EACH... and since it's a 4 wheel car.. you have 4 engines! That's a combined 2720nm! Better start thinking of titanium roads and tungsten tires cause this thing will melt rubber and deform the tarmac. The Asterio is offering a very modest 440nm single engine driving the rear wheels.

4rth - The price Tags
The Asterio is offering the electric option at around 40k (admitting a 5k benefit on the Portuguese market for electrical vehicles)
The Asterio Diesels will come around 55k and 80k
The VW BlueSport will cost around the same price as an S2000 so target around 50k in the Portuguese market. Ok... 5K cheaper, but with 150nm less of torque. And being a Diesel... torque matters!
The Audi... hummmm ... 150k usd... so you better target around 170 to 180k euro in portugal! That's 4 times the Asterio's price... but again.. it's more that 4 times the engines too :)

Conclusions:
The Asterio is FAR better as a Diesel offering
The Asterio is much more affordable as an electric offering, but not even close dynamical (under grip limit).
The Asterio is a much better choice as a petrol offering (PERSONAL opinion completely BIASED toward my engine definitions)... but this is a different league.. for a different discussion.

So I'm very happy with this project. Good Job