Audi e-tron all-electric SUV resembles the design of its concept and will compete against Tesla Model X and Jaguar I-Pace with around 500 km range
The forthcoming full-electric e-tron SUV is a certain Tesla Mode X rival and it has been spotted running on Tarmac once again on foreign soil. It is expected to be revealed early next year with the sales beginning soon after. The spy pictures suggest that the prototype wears a mild camo which indicates the final phase of development the electric SUV is undergoing.
The overall profile is in line with the concept car showcased two years ago at the Frankfurt Motor Show but some of the design elements will rather be conventional except for the rear overhang. The side cladding appears smaller in size now as the entire design philosophy is brought in coherence with the current series of SUVs from Audi.
It will harbinger a new line of big-sized EVs for the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer and is more likely to have a powerful battery pack capable of running 311 miles (500 km) on a single charge. Apart from competing against the Model X, the e-tron will have a strong contender in the name of Jaguar I-Pace as mainstream luxury brands have started entering the EV fray.
Earlier, Audi boss Rupert Stadler confirmed that the production version of the e-tron quattro concept will go on sale early next year and it is believed not to use the regular Q badge. It is one of the three all-electric models Audi has planned before the end of this decade. Audi decided to proceed with the electric SUV despite complex architecture due to the growing trend in the segment.
The first performance EV from Audi is also arriving by 2020 from Audi Sport division while the essence of the conventional IC-engined cars will be kept intact as long as possible as three turbocharged models are coming in the next few years. In the current range, it was likely to be positioned between the Q5 and Q7 and Stadler was convinced that e-tron would be a “very strong brand” in five years’ time.
However, the high cost of the battery means it could be priced more than the flagship Q7. The naming structure may change as well as a new badge is said to be introduced with the e-tron suffix. Back to the styling, the upcoming electric SUV has a slim profile with sharp bodywork and is going to look like a proper SUV as opposed to the Model X. Audi says it will have best-in-class drag coefficient of 0.25.
The e-tron quattro concept saluted the original model from the ‘80s but its road-going version will likely bear more traditional name badges like A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron, etc. With this pure electric drivetrain technology, Audi has said to be focusing on top premium segments and an all-electric sedan rivaling against the Tesla Model S as well.
The proposed electric sedan may not to be replacing the long due range-topping A9. However, it could possibly be born with the A8 e-tron name as one of the three electric models (including an electric hatchback) planned through till the end of 2020. Also, the new range of zero emission vehicles would not be affecting the Utility Vehicle plans of current fleet.
Compact electric cars with largely improved interiors, electric drive range between 350 and 450 kilometres, spacious cabin and next generation in-car connectivity are expected to be the pivotal factors during the development. This city-focused model could be built on the MEB platform that underpins the electric ID concept revealed by Volkswagen.
The ID concept is making way for an all-electric hatchback with greater driving cycle but it is rear wheel driven. This has predicted to affect the development of Audi’s EVs as they are traditionally either front wheel or all-wheel driven. But Audi does not see it as a hindrance and have come up with eventual solutions reportedly.
Audi e-tron SUV Images