Audi’s lightweight A5 clinched overall victory in the eco rally over a distance of 350 kilometers (217 miles). The race involving a field of around 80 participating vehicles is the showcase competition of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum; it formed the first highlight of the five-day forum. The prototype was also in the leading group in the individual categories CO2 emissions, overall emissions, efficiency, acceleration and handling. Thanks to its mainly aluminum body, the lightweight A5 weighs just 1,310 kilograms (2,888 lb). Its 2.0 TFSI engine developing 132 kW (180 hp) is also designed to run on bioethanol, which is very popular in South America.
The Audi e-tron, the second vehicle entered in the competition by Audi, won the design award. The electrically powered high-performance sports car, which immediately became the star of the Michelin Challenge Bibendum, proved its efficiency and took one of the top places in each of the categories CO2 emissions and overall emissions. With 230 kW (313 hp) from its four electric motors, the e-tron is an ultra-dynamic Audi. Its lithium-ion battery makes 42.4 kWh of usable energy available – enough for an operating range of about 248 km (154 miles).
Finally, the standard Audi A3 1.6 TDI developing 77 kW (105 hp), the brand’s third candidate, was also very successful. It was consistently among the best entrants in the four criteria CO2 emissions, overall emissions, noise and handling.
The Michelin Challenge Bibendum was first held in 1998, since when it has become established as one of the world’s most important forums in the domain of sustainable mobility. Audi already emerged as overall winner on one previous occasion, in 2007, when the competition was held in Shanghai.
This year the Challenge is visiting South America for the first time and will run from May 30 to June 3. Some 5,000 participants from 80 countries have traveled to Rio de Janeiro. The central focus of the event is formed by the test drives involving around 150 eco models. These are accompanied by round table meetings, themed discussions and a major exhibition.