Audi has drawn up plans for electric versions of some of its sedans and SUVs, although they may be years away from production.
Unnamed sources have told Reuters that Audi is seriously contemplating producing a range of pure electric vehicles based on regular models from its sedan and SUV line-up.
Aside from a battery electric version of the rumoured Q8 SUV, no other specific plans were mentioned by the newswire’s sources. The Q8 is expected to be a high-riding five-door “coupe” based on the next-generation Q7. The Q8 will take the fight to the just-launched second-generation BMW X6, as well as the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC that was recently previewed as the Concept Coupe SUV.
The Ingolstadt brand will make its first production foray into pure electric vehicles with the R8 e-tron, which is expected to hit European showrooms either in 2015 or 2016. Using the yet-to-be-revealed second-generation supercar as its basis, the all-electric R8 is expected to have a range of around 450km on a full charge.
Audi has reportedly set a range target of at least 400km for its electric car programs before they’re even considered for production. Earlier plans to put an electric R8 into production were scuppered because driving range was a mere 230km.
As far as electric vehicles go, Audi is playing catch up with its German luxury rivals. BMW has launched the i3, which can be purchased as either a pure electric hatchback or with a Holden Volt-style range extender petrol engine, while Mercedes-Benz has started production of its Tesla-powered electric B-Class.