Whether you like it or not, the future of the automobile is electric. Elon Musk and Tesla have already made impressive progress in the electric car market with many successful models, including the recently launched Model X SUV. Not wanting to be left behind while Tesla eats into its market share, Audi is bringing its own electric SUV, the e-tron, which is expected to be launched sometime next year as a 2019 model. This week, our photographer in Germany has spotted the upcoming electric utility vehicle being tested at the Nürburgring.
First shown as a concept at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show, the e-tron will slot in between the Q5 and Q7 in terms of dimensions. And going by the photos here, it is likely to look pretty much like the conventionally powered SUVs in Audi’s current lineup. Although heavily camouflaged, you can see that the grille looks a bit less prominent than those in other Audis, and being an EV, there won’t be any air duct on the front bumper.
The Ingolstadt carmaker has yet to announce specs of the production model. But if the concept’s powertrain is anything to go by, then the set-up, a single motor up front and two at the back, should produce around 430bhp (496bhp in “boost mode”) helping the SUV dash from 0-100kph in 4.5 seconds. Powered by a 95 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, the e-tron is expected to have a range of at least 500km on a single charge.
Audi is looking to follow up the SUV with a whole range of electric models including a sportback version as well as a saloon.