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Audi continues to tease its electric ambitions

Audi keeps teasing us with cryptic clues about its electric intentions for Frankfurt with an odd, but clever promotional item.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin
2 min read

Audi ElectricityUntamed kite and key
Nice try Audi, but I'm more of a Nikola Tesla kinda guy. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

We see our fair share of odd promotional materials in this line of work, but every now and then we get something that's just plain clever.

The package contained a kite branded with the new Audi logo, the ElectricityUntamed.com URL, and a date "9.15.09," which is the opening day of the 2009 Frankfurt auto show. Attached to the kite, Ben Franklin style, was a small metal key-shaped USB drive (a LaCie Iamakey, for all of our techies). The drive contained a few of the videos that we've already seen on Audi's microsite, as well as the following diatribe:

Ben Franklin refused to take lightning at face value.

So, on that fateful stormy day in June of 1752, armed with his now-famous kite and key experiment, he set out to prove that electricity was a force in nature.

He was correct, to say the least.

Electricity is the mother of all natural forces. It can split a tree, ignite a forest fire, overpower a bespectacled 46-year old future Founding Father.

It is both feared and revered.

But it got dumbed down. Underutilized. Wussified. Relegated to toasters and toothbrushes. It helps run glorified golf carts with license plates.

Mr. Franklin would be so disappointed. It's time to let electricity run wild. Free. Completely untamed.


Umm, OK? Of course, behind all of the ranting about the raw power of electricity and a sad Ben Franklin, it's fairly obvious that Audi is developing an electric sports car. Whether that car proves to be the electric R8 or something smaller and more Tesla Roadster-like remains to be seen.

Stay tuned to our continuing coverage of the 2009 Frankfurt auto show for more details and photos as they emerge.