Back in the ’80s, Audi released the Audi Quattro, a car named after the all-wheel drive technology it pioneered. Ever since, Audi has given its all-wheel drive system the “Quattro” name, honoring the great rally car that started it all. It looks like the four-ringed brand is going to do something similar yet again, this time with the “e-tron” name.
Last year, Audi debuted an all-electric concept SUV, dubbed the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept. Promising a range of 310 miles and a 0-60 mph time under five seconds, the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept was going to be Audi’s first all-electric production car and was to compete with the Tesla Model X. It impressed the entire industry and could be a massive breakthrough for the brand. To honor its massive leap forward for Audi, according to a report from Autocar, the Ingolstadt-based brand will name it simply the “Audi e-tron”.
“It is comparable to the first Audi Quattro, which was known simply as the quattro. In the long term the name e-tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure.” According to Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.
The e-tron moniker will subsequently make its way to all plug-in hybrid car variants in the future, much like the Quattro moniker has done for all-wheel drive variants. “We will have models with the usual names, for example A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron and so on.” said Stadler.
Don’t expect the fully electric vehicles to end at the Audi e-tron, either. According to Stadler, the brand is currently working on three fully electric vehicles to be released by 2020. The Audi e-tron is the just the first of them and will be followed by an electric luxury sedan and something Stadler described as a “space concept vehicle”.
Stadler also claimed that a switch to rear-wheel drive for Audi’s electric vehicles is likely and won’t be an issue for the brand. Volkswagen’s electric ID Concept recently on display at the Paris Motor Show was based on the VW Group’s new MEB platform, for electric vehicles. This new platform, which will likely be shared by all brands under the VW Group, is designed for all-electric vehicles and is rear-wheel drive-based. This means that any future electric Audi product will make the switch to rear-wheel drive, instead of the typical front, or all-wheel drive. Stadler doesn’t see that being an issue, however. “A pure BEV (battery electric vehicle) requires different solutions to conventional models.”
So now we finally have a definitive name to call Audi’s upcoming all-electric SUV. With 310 miles of range and a sub-five second 0-60 mph time, the upcoming Audi e-tron could be a breakout car for a brand so heavily invested in new technology. We can’t wait to see what it, and its new nameplate, brings.