Hot off the heels of Audi’s e-tron Quattro Concept debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Audi boss, Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, has announced that going forward Audi will be able to give each and every model an EV option. “We’ll use this car to introduce technology to our customers.” Says Hackenberg, about the e-tron Quattro Concept. “We’ll cover all our cars with plug-in technology. More or less every [Audi] drivetrain can be electrified.”
According to Hackenberg, the e-tron Quattro Concept will also be able to utilize Germany’s upcoming fast-charge infrastructure. This should offer EV drivers a usable range of 250 miles in just 30 minutes. That’s quite similar to the Supercharging network developed by Tesla and Elon Musk.
Speaking of Tesla, the e-tron Quattro will also have a choice of batteries, when it debuts, much like the current Tesla Model S. The batteries will range from 60 kWh to 95 kWh, with the biggest battery being both the fastest and having the longest range. Only with the 95 kWh battery can the e-tron Quattro manage its claimed 310 miles and o-60 mph in less than four seconds. But less expensive, and less efficient, batteries will be available for customers who don’t need the extra long range and can live with lesser performance.
When asked about why Audi would use such a big and heavy vehicle, which are typically the enemy of electric vehicles, to launch its EV program, Hackenberg replied with “You need a large car to realise the space of 500km (310 miles).” Apparently, creating such a high-tech electric vehicle requires developing new technologies, such as active aerodynamics and virtual mirrors. “We can’t realise these features on a standard car. We’re working on the homologation.” said Hackenberg.
According to Audi, such a vehicle (possibly dubbed the Q6) will be hitting showrooms by 2018. But in the meantime, plug-in hybrid version of the next Q5 and A8 will likely debut. Audi already launched the Q7 e-tron in Frankfurt, so plug-in technology is already a possibility in most current Audi vehicles. But once the Q6 arrives, full-on electric powertrains will start to become available on all Audi models.