We’ve already learned that the new-generation Audi Q7 will feature a plug-in hybrid e-tron model, but according to a Bloomberg report, this may not be enough SUV electrification for the German automaker. According to the report, Audi will likely release an all-electric crossover to do battle with the upcoming Tesla Model X.
In the report, Audi’s chief executive officer stated that “our engineers are working” when asked about a future zero-emissions vehicle. He then cleared things up a bit by saying “It’s probably going to be a crossover, but development work is still ongoing.” While this is far from confirmation, it is about as close as you can come without the executive actually spelling out the brand’s plans.
The existing Q7 e-tron combines a 3.0-liter TDI engine with an electric motor to produce a total of 393 PS (387 horsepower) and 516 pound-feet of twist. This engine delivers up to 166 mpg and emits only 50 grams of CO2 per km. Despite the numbers of the existing Q7 e-tron being simply incredible, Audi is not happy until it has a zero-emissions SUV that can deliver the range and driving experience that we all expect from the brand.
According to the report, a full-electric Audi SUV should be ready to take on the Model X in 2017. That would put it about two years behind the Tesla SUV, as it is set for debut in 2015. However, the Model X has been met with a few delays over the years, so don’t be shocked to see it debut in 2016.
The report goes on to claim that the on-and-off Audi R8 e-tron is officially on and will hit dealerships in 2015. According to Bloomberg, the R8 will closely follow the release of the A3 e-tron hatchback, which launched earlier this year.
Delivering these low-emission and zero-emission vehicles is all part of Audi’s goal to continue its growth in America and hopefully hit 300,000 yearly sales in the U.S. by 2023.
We’ll continue to bring you any updates on this topic as they become available.