LOOK OUT, Tesla: Audi is preparing to launch a pure-electric SUV, positioned in size between the Q5 and Q7, with a range of more than 310 miles.
The Audi e-tron quattro concept will be launched at the Frankfurt motor show next month and to go into production in 2018. It will take on the groundbreaking Tesla Model X pure-electric SUV, which is scheduled for launch this autumn in America and is expected to have a range of “more than 200 miles”.
Audi says the e-tron quattro concept benefits from expertise gained in the development of the coming R8 e-tron electric supercar. The SUV has moving aerodynamic elements at the front, on the sides and at the rear to improve the airflow around the car.
Three electric motors – one on the front axle and two on the rear – create what Audi calls an “electrified quattro”with four-wheel drive. The large lithium-ion battery is positioned between the axles and below the four-seat passenger compartment, giving the car a low centre of gravity for strong handling and stability.
Audi recently struck a deal with LG and Samsung to set up a European battery-making facility. “With our first battery‑electric Audi SUV we are combining an emission‑free drive system with driving pleasure,” said Professor Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s director of research and development.