The Tesla Model X has proved to be another sales success story for Tesla, mainly because it forms its own niche. Put simply, it has virtually no competition! The success of the Model X hasn’t gone unnoticed though. These spy shots show that Audi is preparing something of similar size to the Tesla mini-van. While the Audi e-Tron Quattro will likely feature SUV proportions, it will get a powertrain to rival the American start-up.
These spy shots show that the long-awaited Audi e-Tron quattro is finally entering its road testing phase. Whilst the prototype wears heavy camouflage, it is clear to see the SUV proportions together with a similar design to the e-Tron Concept we saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2015.
The overall design is refined with a few cues carried over from Audi’s latest releases. It has the same LED strip as the Audi A8 for example, connecting the taillights. The spy shots show that the design won’t be as radical as the Model X. It won’t get fancy doors and will likely slot into the existing model line-up.
Sadly, for Audi, the competition is coming thick and fast in this segment. The recently-revealed Jaguar E-Pace has been creating a buzz in recent months, beating Audi to the market. Mercedes-Benz are also expected to release a competitor, the Mercedes-Benz EQ-A, although it remains to be seen how much of a dent this will make in Model X sales. BMW are also said to be working on an all-electric BMW X3.
As for the powertrain, very little is known so for. We expect that it will use a Volkswagen Group modular EV platform which could also make its way into upcoming Porsche and Volkswagen projects. The industry is predicting a 500 kilometres range, relying on existing fast-charging infrastructure in Europe, the U.S., and Asia.
The Audi e-Tron quattro is expected to hit the market in 2018. The following year, a four-door coupe “Sportback” version will also be made available with plans for a sedan to compete with the brand new Tesla Model 3.