Audi has announced that it will produce a large electric "sport activity vehicle" from 2018.
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At Audi's annual press conference overnight, Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's technical development chief, talked at length about the brand's on-going efforts with alternative drivetrain setups.

During his speech, Hackenberg confirmed that Audi would release a new "battery powered sports activity vehicle" in the early part of 2018. This new "large premium" SUV would utilise and build on the technologies found underneath the build-to-order second-generation R8 e-tron.

It appears to be the answer to Hackenberg's cryptic statements in Geneva last week about a full-size EV due in 2017/18.

As such, the new vehicle will have a "range of more than 500 kilometres". The new R8 e-tron has a claimed range of more than 450km, and features two electric motors with a combined output 340kW of power and 920Nm of torque.

The new electric Audi SUV will be built upon the Volkswagen Group's MLB modular longitudinal platform. According to Hackenberg, the car will sport a "new very attractive design, which [Audi is] developing especially for the e-tron range and [its] battery electric vehicles".

On screens behind the Audi board members, the company flashed up a design sketch (above) of the new electric SUV, which Autocar managed to capture.

According to European media outlets that were in attendance, the new electric SUV will likely be badged as the Q6. Audi also confirmed that it would produce a new "sporty" Q8 model that will sit at the top of its SUV range.