We all know that Audi is currently working on its first all-electric SUV, but now we have new information on Ingolstadt’s next big thing.
Audi sales and marketing boss Dietmar Voggenreiter spoke about the project to Autocar, confirming many rumors around their upcoming electric vehicle.
The 2018 production version of the e-tron concept will sit between the Q5 and Q7 in terms of size and the design will be heavily influenced from the concept, with Voggenreiter stating , “That concept is quite close to the series production car.”
Voggenreiter also confirmed that Audi will use a modified version of Porsche’s electric-only platform which is also going to be used in the production version of the Mission E sedan. Audi is planning to launch the Q6 next year with a driving range of more than 500km (310 miles), focusing hard on the battery technology that will allow this.
Another focus of the German car maker is the charging infrastructure, with Audi planning to have its own fast-charging network. “A 400km to 500km range must be possible and we must have a fast-charging infrastructure,” said Voggenreiter. “Both things are coming in 2018. The battery energy density is there and there is a lot of charging infrastructure in Europe, the US and Asia.”
Audi is working with brands like Ford, BMW and Mercedes in order to ensure that the infrastructure will be ready on time. “It’s not our job to invest in charging points,” he said. “We are pushing and organizing this, though, and working with partners on it.”
The German carmaker will reportedly name the new electric SUV ‘e-tron’ instead of the previously reported Q6, a suffix that’s already used in its electrified models. The company will not follow BMW’s and Mercedes’ examples in launching a separate sub-brand, as it intends to make the e-tron nameplate as iconic as the first Quattro model, which was launched in the 80s.
Future e-tron models will also get a slightly different styling from other Audis as the electric powertrains allow for different packaging compared to traditional models. “E-trons are close to the designs of Marc Lichte but in different packages,” he said. “There isn’t an engine in the front.”
Voggenreiter also hinted that the Q6 is a separate project altogether, which means that we are going to see a Q6 after all, just not one that uses electricity.