Automaker's first dedicated EV model set to arrive in 2018
Audi is planning to solidify the importance of its “e-tron” moniker. According to Autocar¸the upcoming Audi electric SUV will simply be called e-tron, and the name will eventually define the automaker’s future EV models.
Audi’s electric SUV, its first-ever dedicated EV, was widely rumored to be named Q6. But in an interview with Autocar, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said the SUV’s official name will be e-tron and will help establish the automaker’s upcoming EV lineup. “It is comparable to the first Audi quattro, which was known simply as the quattro,” Stadler told Autocar. “In the long term the name e-tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure.”
That means electrified versions of established models will be called “A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron and so on,” Stadler explained. It’s unclear what, if any, name changes will be applied to hybrids like the current A3 Sportback e-tron.
Stadler also suggested to Autocar that Audi is still considering an all-electric large sedan targeting the Tesla Model S. Earlier this year rumors suggested Audi was developing an A9 e-tron, a large EV sedan similar in size to the A8.
Audi is expected to roll out three EV models by 2020, including the aforementioned e-tron SUV and large sedan. A compact hatchback EV is also in the works.
Recent reports claim Audi is making a dramatic pivot to dedicate future R&D investments toward electrification. That said, the automaker is expected to scale back projects elsewhere, as its parent company Volkswagen struggles to cut back spending to deal with its diesel emissions crisis. Audi’s future at Le Mans is questionable, along with a planned self-driving vehicle test track.