Last year, Audi announced it’s first all-electric vehicle, the e-tron quatro, a luxury SUV expected to fit between the Q5 and Q7, and therefore, it will likely change its name to Q6 once it will enter production at the company’s plant in Brussels starting in 2018.
Now we learn that the automaker is also planning an electric version of the Q5, which should go into production at the company’s new factory in Mexico.
At the moment, the Q5 is manufactured in Ingolstadt, Germany, Audi’s hometown, and exported globally. Until recently, the entire production of Q5, which is the automaker’s best-selling SUV, was managed by Peter Hochholdinger, Senior Director of Manufacturing, but last month, Tesla poached the veteran automotive executive to lead the production plan of the Tesla Model 3 at the Fremont Factory.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a fan of Audi’s vehicles and he used to own a Q7, a higher-end and bigger SUV than the Q5.
Audi built a $1.3 billion factory in Mexico and it is set to move its Q5 production at the plant by the end of the year.
Now Automotive News is quoting “two sources with knowledge of the project” saying that the German automaker is training personnel for the production of an electric version of the Q5 at the factory. The new Mexico plant aims to produce around 150,000 cars a year.
Auto News’ sources did not specify if the electric version will be all-electric (BEV) or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), but based on the VW’s group recently announced plan to introduce 30 new all-electric vehicles by 2025, it looks like it is more likely to be a BEV than a PHEV.
If you want to speculate on the Q5’s potential range, as a reference, Audi said that the e-tron quattro will have a “range of more than 500 kilometers (310 miles)”, but while they didn’t specify it, they were likely referring to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is known to be less restrictive than the EPA standard.
Actual real world range should be closer to 230-250 miles or similar to what the Tesla Model X is able to travel on a single charge.