The Audi e-tron will be the name of the company's first all-electric mass production vehicle, Rupert Stadler, the company's CEO, has confirmed.
Talking to Autocar, Stadler revealed that Audi's first mass market electric car won't be sold as the Q6 e-tron, as the rumour mill had previously indicated. Instead, the car will be branded simply as the Audi e-tron.
The move is said to echo the launch of the Audi Quattro in 1980. Although based on the contemporary Audi Coupe, the Quattro production vehicle and rally cars carried a distinct name in combination with its turbocharged engine and all-wheel setup.
When other models in the Audi lineup began to receive the option of all-wheel drive, they were given Quattro badges.
Above and top: 2015 Audi e-tron quattro concept.
Stadler says that the e-tron sub-brand will soon become a little more focused as "in the long term the name e-tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure", with future all-electric variants of the core range branded "for example [as] A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron and so on".
The new Audi e-tron will go on sale in key global markets in 2018, meaning that a local launch in 2019 is most likely.
Design-wise, the new Audi e-tron will carry cues from 2015 Audi e-tron quattro concept. Driving range is expected to be around 500km on a fully charged battery.
Above: 2016 Volkswagen ID concept.
Following on from the Audi e-tron SUV will be two further all-electric models. In his chat with the British magazine, Stadler hinted that one will be a large luxury sedan targeted at the Tesla Model S.
The other pure electric vehicle seems likely to be a compact car with an intelligent space concept, and will most likely be closely related to the production version of the Volkswagen ID concept.
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