Audi To Develop New Electric Car Using R8 e-tron Powertrain: Report

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Audi R8 e-tron track drive, Berlin Tempelhof Airport

Audi R8 e-tron track drive, Berlin Tempelhof Airport

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Audi has fallen behind its rivals when it comes to electric cars but the automaker is out to rectify the issue with the launch of its first all-electric model next year, the R8 e-tron. The R8 e-tron will be based on Audi’s second-generation R8 supercar which is also due out next year; the electric version is expected to have a driving range of about 280 miles on a single charge.

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.


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