Audi F12

Audi's F12 research vehicle looks like an electric version of the R8 (Photo: Audi)

Audi said it has completed a three-year research project designed to build a technology platform for electric mobility.

The German premium car maker said the platform's modules can now be used in a variety of electric vehicles.

Audi worked on the so-called e performance project with supplier Robert Bosch and several institutes of Aachen Technical University. Other technical universities and several German research institutions also participated.

The project started in October, 2009, with the aim of building a scalable systems architecture for electric vehicles. The platform was designed to be flexible enough to work for plug-in hybrids and be suitable for every type of vehicle ranging from sports cars to sedans to city cars.

The group first worked with advanced simulation tools, but later built submodules and even a car that could be driven, the F12. This sports car looks like an Audi R8, but is electric-powered. It represents the "e Sport" model within the modular system platform, Audi said.

The research car is powered by three, separately controlled, electric motors that jointly produce 204 bhp and 550 Nm of torque.

It has two separate battery blocks with overall capacity of 38 kWh. The car has a switchable high-voltage electrical system with output of either 144 or 216 volts.

Christian Allmann, one of the project managers, called the program "the largest interdisciplinary research project in Germany for electric cars.”

Follow-up projects will focus on thermal management and other technical issues,