According to inside sources within Audi who spoke with Reuters news, the company has already planned an onslaught of electric cars should the market pick up. Development costs are being kept to the design stage but with Volkswagen as part of the same group, it is highly probable that, for example, an electric Audi A3 would be based on the already developed and produced e-Golf.
A few years ago, Audi touted a new Audi A2, a small lightweight car that was in many ways 10 years ahead of it’s time during it’s first iteration. The replacement A2 had plans to be an all electric car and although the car made it to concept stage the plug was pulled before it ever became a reality. Ironically, arch enemy BMW developed the BMW i3 in a similar vein, having roughly the same sorts of proportions and ideals to the A2 and that has seen incredible admiration from the motoring world and general public alike.
The revived impulse to draw up plans for an electric car range have come from wanting to compete with the likes of other German brands and the evident threat of American brand Tesla who’s Model S is now the number one selling vehicle in Norway – albeit the population there is a mere 5 million people making for the grand title being a little less amazing in reality.
Audi had also toyed with their Porsche 911 rival, the R8, in making an electric version. This is now being re-touted as being their first entry into the electric car world which makes sense. When the project was first annulled, the reasons cited by executives was the lack of battery storage ability with current technology. This has allegedly been rectified making the car viable once more. Furthermore, it would also bring a competitor to BMW’s i8 hybrid if given a similar near £100,000 price tag.
Although many may say why make a performance electric car when the majority of people cannot afford one, the answer is that as a group, Volkswagen Audi (VAG) will then have between them the VW e-up! city EV, the e-Golf to rival small family cars and then a performance car targeted towards the upper end of the luxury market. That clearly does leave a rather large hole, currently being successfully filled by the Tesla Model S. The speculators amongst you will perhaps question whether or not an Audi A6 or A8 may then be introduced in all electric form.
Furthermore, with the introduction of Tesla’s next model, the much anticipated Model X four wheel drive off-road styled sports car, the inside sources at Audi mentioned an electric version of the Q8 SUV might be considered.
In all, this is promising news that the manufacturer so known for their hybrid Le Mans series successes are finally approaching electrification albeit with a wet toe only for now.