Audi boss Rupert Stadler affirms the company is simply callings its upcoming electric crossover the E-Tron. The CUV will be part of the brand’s EV push that will also include a sedan and city car in the coming years.
“It is comparable to the first Audi Quattro, which was known simply as the Quattro. In the long term the name E-Tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure,” Stadler explained the naming decision to Autocar. The E-Tron moniker will also appear as part of the model designation for future vehicles like with the current A3 Sportback E-Tron or Q7 E-Tron.
The sedan and city car would join the lineup by the end of 2020. Stadler remains mum about the four-door EV but is more willing to discuss the concept behind the smaller model. “We are presently experiencing an upward swing in the demand for such electric concepts, primarily in large megacities,” he told Autocar. “They would be well suited with ranges of between 350 to 450 km. The subject of space is an important one. That means we’ll see compact electric cars, but with vastly improved interior design.”
The production E-Tron electric CUV reportedly looks a lot like 2015’s E-Tron Quattro concept. The design is quite angular and features a sloping roof that gives coupe-like proportions. Under the floor, there’s a battery from Samsung SDI and LG Chem that provides a range over 310 miles (500 kilometers). The concept used three electric motors with a peak output of 496 horsepower (370 kilowatts) and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) during overboost. Audi claimed it could sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.6 seconds.
The E-Tron’s natural competitor will be the Tesla Model X – the current star among luxury electric crossovers. In the top P100D trim for $135,500, the Model X can reach 60 mph (97 kph) in a rocket-quick 2.9 seconds and cover 289 miles. However, Tesla’s rapid upgrades could mean an even more potent version is available by the time the E-Tron arrives on the scene.
Audi will begin E-Tron production in Belgium in 2018. We’ll likely see the final version in the latter half of next year.