The automaker’s first all-electric production model, now officially the e-Tron, will tour Geneva this week ahead of production start-up later this year
Audi has promised to deliver three EVs by 2020, although thus far the sight of them has been largely limited to press shots of camouflaged prototypes out and about on test runs. This week in Geneva, the carmaker has somehow managed to show more of its first effort – the e-Tron – without showing very much more at all.
The E-Tron prototype, formerly known as the Q6, took to the stage during Audi’s briefing, following a presentation on the upcoming A6. However, the car remained cloaked under some bespoke e-Tron badged camouflage and was touted as something of a “sneak preview.” Meanwhile, outside the conference hall several prototype models will be touring Geneva itself, lingering long enough at prominent Swiss landmarks for tourists (and journalists) to get a few snaps in.
Car Magazine reckons the stunt may serve to take the edge off of Jaguar’s headline-hogging I-PACE release last week, and remind drivers that Audi isn’t far behind in the race to market.
In an accompanying press release, Audi reveals a little more of the EV’s capabilities. Confirming its designation as a “premium SUV” the e-Tron has enough space for five passengers with luggage.
No official word was given on battery size, but Audi has promised a range “suitable for longer journeys” and speculation has suggested something in the region of 310 miles.
Its fast-charging capabilities have been touted though. Audi has promised that the production version will be capable of handling up to 150 kW charging power, offering an 80% recharge in just under 30 minutes.
Serial production will begin in the company’s Brussels factory around August 30, the company said in its presentation, and will be launched on the European market at the end of 2018.
Setting out a more firm timeline, Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management said: “In 2020 we will have three all-electric vehicles in our product range, with a four-door Gran Turismo – the production version of the Audi e-tron Sportback concept – and a model in the compact segment joining the sporty SUV. We will be launching more than 20 electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2025 – spread across all segments and concepts.”
In the meantime, you can see one of the camouflaged models in action in the video below:
It’s been a long time coming, but with prototypes on the road and a production date set, the e-Tron looks nearer now than it ever has.