Audi is giving a sneak preview of what may be posed as a direct competitor to Tesla Model X – the e-tron Quattro Concept.
It will debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show and foreshadows a 2017 all-electric SUV Audi is developing with a reported 310 miles range.
As a car measured by European mileage standards, the range may be higher than U.S. EPA certification, but nothing is set in stone yet for the SUV to benefit by optimized 0.25 drag coefficient and new battery chemistry enabling Tesla-like distances.
Size-wise, it could be between a Q5 and Q7 with coupe-like flat roofline and battery sitting low and central for improved center of gravity, which should help optimize road manners.
Three electric motors are to be utilized for the Quattro – Audi’s long-standing name for its all-wheel-drive systems. One motor will drive the front wheels, and two will be delegated duties for driving the rear wheels.
An OLED touchscreen will be part of a swank and contemporary interior.
As it is, Audi is shooting for a moving target. Tesla is never standing still, and as the Model S has shown, it has evolved the car, bringing in the AWD “D” models since its launch in 2012.
Some may also opine Audi is late to the party, but frankly, the party is just getting started if this is a proposed turnover of the U.S. fleet into the coming decades for all-electric cars.
By the same token, other automakers have yet to accept their invitation to the party which has been sent RSVP by Tesla which offered its patents free, and welcomes competitors, it says.
Audi has been in the car-building business far longer, and knows what it is undertaking. We shall see what it actually does, but its primary mission will be to not compromise expectations by demanding upscale customers.