Audi will attempt to take on Tesla with an all-electric sports utility vehicle that promises a range greater than any electric car on sale now.
That’s according to a Top Gear report, which claims Audi will launch a new electric vehicle every year and that it will begin with a ‘sporty SUV’ in 2018 – most likely based on the E-tron Quattro concept seen at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Whatever it looks like, the main point to take home is the fact Audi claims the electric SUV will have a range of more than 500km (310.69 miles), bettering the Tesla Model S record of 303.2 miles.
The E-tron Quattro concept features two electric motors (one on each axle) and a total output of 503bhp, giving it a 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 131mph – performance behind that of the Model S and Model X but plenty for most drivers.
The Tesla Model X also features two electric motors that provide all-wheel drive and can reach 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds with the ‘Ludicrous Speed Upgrade’ equipped, before topping out at 155mph.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk will no doubt be watching his competitors very closely and Audi has deep pockets so the news is not to be taken lightly. But Tesla has greater battery expertise and will soon be ramping up production to 500,000 vehicles, giving it the benefit of economies of scale.
Not only that, the Audi SUV will be arriving in 2018, by which time the Model X may have been updated or soon to be. Then there’s the fact the Tesla can drive itself on motorways using Autopilot, has fancy Falcon doors and access to the Supercharger network of fast chargers.
Audi also announced the new A8 will feature ‘piloted driving’ on motorways up to 37mph, making congestion should be much less hassle for the driver, and that it had achieved record deliveries of 1.8-million cars in 2015.