Audi boss Rupert Stadler has said the firm’s first dedicated electric car will carry the name ‘e-tron’ without any specific model designation in a move evoking the naming of its original Quattro.
Previewed by the e-tron quattro concept at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, the new SUV is one of three electric models planned by the end of 2020.
Commenting on the decision not to link the model to an existing product line or launch under a sub-brand, Stadler said: “It is comparable to the first Audi Quattro, which was known simply as the Quattro. In the long term, the name e-tron will stand fora pure-electric driveline structure.”
Stadler confirmed that the e-tron name will subsequently appear in combination with Audi’s more traditional model names, such as A6 e-tron.
Stadler also hinted that Audi is working on a Tesla Model S rival. He said: “It makes sense for the Audi brand to be positioned in the top premium segment with this driveline technology.”
However, he quashed suggestions that it may replace the company’s long-planned A9. Instead, it is expected to form part of the three initial electric models, possibly badged A8 e-tron.
The third model is believed to be an SUV with what Stadler calls a “space concept vehicle” twist.
He said: “We are presently experiencing an upward swing in the demand for such electric concepts, primarily in large mega-cities. They would be well suited with ranges of 350km to 450km [218-280 miles]. The subject of space is an important one.”