Even if Audi is planning an electric crossover to compete with Tesla’s Model X, the brand’s CEO Rupert Stadler stated that he remains cautious with regards to the future of electric cars.
In terms of electrified cars, the CEO explained that for the following 10-15 years, the plug-in hybrids will be the most preferred option for drivers looking for such vehicles. Last month, at the Shanghai Auto Show, Stadler stated that plug-in hybrids create a balance for urban journeys under electric power with an internal combustion engine that lasts for longer trips.
Audi’s first plug-in hybrid, the A3 Sportback e-tron, became available in Europe back in November last year and will be on sale in the U.S. in September, this year’s autumn. The car lasts 31 miles for a single drive using only electric power.
The large-battery powered new EV from Audi will enter the market in 2018, and it will have a range of more than 310 miles, according to Chief Technical Officer Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg. The car will surpass the Model X from Tesla which is set to become purchasable this summer, and that only can go up to 267 miles.
Hackenberg added that Audi’s crossover will show a new design that the German brand is developing for its electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids and that it will be based on Volkswagen’s Group second-generation MLB platform that offers range-boosting weight savings.
Sources from the company state that the crossover will be based on the next Q5 and that it will have the e-tron badge that can be seen on Audi’s EVs and plug-in hybrids. The R8 e-tron supercar is the German carmaker’s only electric vehicle. Audi doubled its range to 280 miles and introduced the second-generation R8 e-tron at the Geneva Auto Show.
By Gabriela Florea