Audi is opening reservations for its first production electric vehicle today ahead of the official launch later this year. We have often portrayed the Audi e-tron quattro as the first of a series of upcoming all-electric vehicles from German premium automakers, but it’s finally not only some distant concepts, but an actual all-electric SUV coming to market with Audi’s 2018 model lineup.
Due to high interest in the vehicle, Audi is opening pre-orders early – à la Tesla.
Harald Edvardsen-Eibak, director of Audi in Norway, confirmed that the Norwegian market will have access to the vehicle first:
“Interest in the Audi e-tron quattro has been tremendous since the first concept version was shown in 2015. Norway is a pioneer market for electrification and we are proud to be the first in the Audi Group with a solution like this. At the same time, we have great expectations for the car which is now nearing Norwegian roads.”
Norwegians interested in the vehicle can right now place a 20,000 kroner (~$2,500) deposit to reserve the vehicle without even knowing the actual price.
As the vehicle is getting less than a year away from production, the company 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 95 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.
It will be the first time that the energy capacity of a battery pack comparable to Tesla’s top-of-the-line models will be available in a production electric car.
The only thing left to know is how competitively they will be able to price it and how widely available it will be. They have been saying that the e-tron quattro is between Audi Q5 and Audi Q7 in term of size and those vehicles have starting MSRPs of $41,000 and $49,000. If the e-tron quattro is offered around the same price before incentives, it would shake up the market, but it’s doubtful at this point.