Audi Picks Three Paths Toward Electric Avenue

In remarks at the Geneva Auto Show on Tuesday, Audi boss Rupert Stadler outlined a three-pronged approach toward an electric future.

By 2020, Audi will add an SUV, a sports car, and a compact car, in roughly that order, according to Stadler. Although SUVs are more of challenge, since their basic packaging makes streamlining difficult, Stadler acknowledges that, SUVs are a hot segment.

“There is first of all an SUV,” said Stadler. “We decided to go the SUV way because, even though the architecture is a little more difficult because you don’t have the perfect aerodynamics, people love to sit in an SUV and we have to respect the growing trend of SUV segments. I think this was two or three years ago absolutely the right decision.”

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The SUV will most likely key off of the Q6 e-tron concept shown at the end of 2015. Although the Q6 designation is not a given, e-tron will certainly be part of the production vehicle’s moniker.

The next car will be a rival to BMW’s i8 and successor to Audi’s own R8 e-tron concept, which never went into production. The new car would benefit from the extensive R&D Audi plowed into the supercar, perhaps including the novel approach of having a musician compose an appropriate soundtrack for drivers and pedestrians.

Rounding out the triad will be a compact city car, using the MEB architecture of the Volkswagen I.D. Unlike that tribute to the hallowed 23-window VW Kombi of the 1960s, the Audi will be more of an upscale grocery getter for tight quarters in Europe and elsewhere. Expect a range of roughly 300 miles and a price just north of $30,000.

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