With Tesla becoming a viable option for more and more buyers, particularly luxury car buyers, high-end automakers are scrambling to get their act together and catch up to the California-based electric automaker. The latest of which is German automaker Audi, which has tinkered with the idea of electric cars with the e-tron project. Now it appears as if the brand is set to take on the electric car startup with a new electric sedan in 2017.
This report comes by way of Auto Express, which got the word from Audi’s design lead Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg at the LA Auto show last week. According to Hackenberg, a 280-mile electric saloon is “under development.” According to the report, this sedan will borrow some of its engineering from the Audi R8 e-tron, but unlike the R8, this car is actually set for production in the next three years. Hackenberg declined to comment on whether this will be a new model altogether or an e-tron version of an existing sedan.
Auto Express also got word from VW’s head of powertrain development — VW owns Audi — that the new sedan’s motors are five times more efficient than those on the Golf E. Combine this with a sedan body that allows for many more battery packs under the passenger compartment and batteries with higher storage capacity, and you get a large luxury sedan with a near-300-mile range.
While the e-tron project has seemed to be on rather shaky ground as of late, the R8 version in particular, it looks as if Audi is ready to dive in with this sedan. We’ll keep you updated on this development and bring you updates whenever they are available.