The Tesla Model S has taken a bite out of German luxury car sales, and Audi is ready to respond with an electric car of its own. Audi has announced plans to debut a 300-mile electric car in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to rival Tesla, reports Seeking Alpha.
Audi CTO Ulrich Hackenberg told a gathering of press types at the LA Auto Show that the automaker was prepping not just one, but two all-electric long-range cars for sale. We already know about one of them, an electric Audi R8 e-tron with a range of between 200 and 300 miles per charge (depending on the test cycle). This electric sports car has been cancelled twice, but new battery chemistry helped boost range and top speed to Audi’s specifications. So while production is likely to be extremely limited, this will be Audi’s first foray into the world of electric vehicles.
Perhaps of more interest though is Hackenberg’s admission that Audi is also working on an electric “family car” with seating for five and even more driving range than the R8 e-tron. The German automaker is aiming for a real-world driving range of 300 miles, and Audi’s parent company Volkswagen has said that long-range batteries offer “great potential” to the automotive industry. The most likely recipient of the new battery pack is probably going to be either the A6 or A8, which are best positioned to compete with the Tesla Model S, though there’s no saying for sure that Audi hasn’t developed a completely platform for it’s future electric vehicles.
Having signed a battery deal worth billions of dollars with LG Chem and committing to adding plug-in versions of every model in its lineup, it seems the German automaker’s commitment to plug-in cars is a lot more solid than some people give it credit for.
We’ll get a first look at Audi’s electric future at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January.