Audi R8 e-tron track drive, Berlin Tempelhof AirportEnlarge Photo
The R8 e-tron’s electric powertrain will then be used for other models at Audi, including a new family-oriented model that could potentially rival the Model S from Tesla Motors [NSDQ] or perhaps even the upcoming Model X. The information was revealed by Audi’s R&D chief Ulrich Hackenberg during a recent interview with Auto Express.
“Let’s say that technology will also be carried over and is a trailer for another car with long range,” Hackenberg said about the R8 e-tron’s electric powertrain. “[The other car] is under development and will be in the market for around 2017 but it will not be a sports car.”
What’s not clear is whether the new electric car Audi is planning will be a standalone model like the canceled second-generation A2 or simply a variant from an existing line like the upcoming R8 e-tron.
One possibility is an all-electric version of Audi’s upcoming Q8, which was reported on earlier in the year. The Q8 is also due around 2017; it will be a coupe-like crossover based on the underpinnings of the new Q7 and will target the BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe and—if an all-electric version is launched—the Tesla Model X
Stay tuned for an update.