According to the German automaker’s development boss, Audi – the second largest premium carmaker in the world – now plans to have individual stylistic traits for all of its future battery-electric models.
The primary goal – ensure the green powered vehicles stand out from the conventionally driven peers in the Audi range. That would be achieved by ensuring the line-up has its own design language – starting with the recently announced upcoming electric SUV that would rival such offerings as Tesla’s upcoming Model X crossover. “In early 2018, we will launch a battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment with a range of more than 500 kilometers. It will have a new, very attractive design, which we are developing especially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles,” commented Ulrich Hackenberg on the sidelines of Audi’s yearly news conference. According to analysts and industry experts, one crucial reason for Toyota’s outstanding success of its Prius hybrid model was the fact that it had an instantly recognizable design, which set it apart even from other hybrids made by Toyota – not to mention the competition.
Nissan and BMW are mulling the same strategic approach with their own battery-powered electrics, the Leaf and the i3. None of the two models is based on a conventional model’s previous design and according to figures from JATO Dynamics in 2014 the models ranked first and third, respectively, in the European electric vehicle segment. Audi’s upcoming battery-electric crossover will be developed upon the company’s next generation modular longitudinal platform, internally called MLB 2. The architecture will be premiered by the second-generation Audi Q7 flagship SUV, scheduled to go on sale later this year.
Via Automotive News Europe