Audi’s e-tron quattro SUV could become next year the first in a series of premium all-electric vehicles to come to market. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and other premium automakers are all planning EVs for the end of the decade, but the way the vehicles program are set up, Audi is apparently ahead of the pack with its 2018 release.
But of course, Tesla is already well-established in the premium electric vehicle segment with the Model S, a large sedan, and the Model X, a premium SUV.
While discussing the upcoming launch of the e-tron quattro, Audi’s Chief of Sales and Marketing, Dietmar Voggenreiter, decided to ignore the Model X and claim that with the e-tron quattro, Audi will be “the first real premium manufacturer doing a premium electric SUV”(via Autocar).
That would mean Audi doesn’t see Tesla as a “real premium manufacturer” or the Model X as a “premium electric SUV”.
It’s hard to see how the Model X doesn’t fit the description since it already competes with Audi’s Q5 and Q7 SUVs, and the e-tron quattro is expected to be positioned right between the two SUVs in Audi’s vehicle lineup.
Though Voggenreiter has now confirmed that the electric SUV will not be named Q6, as it has been rumored for a while, and that it is a completely separate vehicle program. He added that it’s “not a four-door coupé SUV. It’s a sporty SUV”.
As the vehicle is getting less than a year away from production, the exec confirmed that the concept vehicle unveiled in 2015 (see below) is “quite close to the series production car”.
A “310 miles of range” on a 90 kWh battery pack as been previously reported to be the main feature of the e-tron quattro’s powertrain, Audi usually uses NEDC rating for electric vehicle range. Therefore, real-world range or the EPA estimate should be closer to ~275 miles.
Interestingly, Voggenreiter now says that the vehicle will be built on the same platform as Porsche’s Mission E, which is due a year later.
Hopefully, it means that it will feature the same 350 kW charging capability promised in the Mission E.
Charging stations with 350 kW fast-charging infrastructure are currently being deployed in a new network in Europe and a few stations have been announced in the US.
Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche’s parent company, has to spend $2 billion on charging infrastructure in the US as part of Dieselgate settlement. With the imminent arrival of the Audi e-tron quattro next year, the company could be encouraged to deploy more fast-charging stations to support the vehicle if it’s equipped with the next generation 350 kW technology.
Featured Image: The concept car Audi e-tron quattro at the Volkswagen Group Night (IAA) in Frankfurt.
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