At its 127th annual generation meeting, the management team at Audi provided a few insights into its product roadmap, including a timeline for the new Audi A8 and the marque’s electrification plans.
Rupert Stadler, chairman of Audi, told assembled shareholders and media: “Electrification and digitisation represent an historic shift. We will play a large part in shaping this change and will thus further enhance our strong position.”
To that end, Stadler said that beginning in 2018, Audi will launch an “electrified car each year”.
Kicking off the company’s headlong dive into electrification in 2018 will be an all-electric large SUV, which the company has already confirmed.
Widely tipped to be branded as the Q6 e-tron, the electric crossover will have a fully charged driving range of around 500 kilometres. Both the Q6 and its battery pack will produced in Brussels, Belgium.
Above: The third-generation Audi A8.
As far as digitisation goes, the luxury brand will give the fourth-generation A8 its debut in 2017. The new A8 will feature the brand’s first production autonomous driving system, to be branded as Traffic Jam Pilot, which is able to drive itself on a motorway at speeds up to 60km/h.
Stadler believes that “by 2025, we will see fully automated driving”.
For the first time, the A8 range might be broadened out beyond the traditional standard- and long-wheelsebase sedans, with a coupe and extra-long-wheelbase limousine on the cards.