Three electric motors and 311 miles (500 kilometres) of autonomy
Audi is shifting its EV ambitions into a higher gear. The brand with the four rings has reportedly confirmed the introduction of a brand new electric luxury sedan. Company’s boss Rupert Stadler has explained to Autocar the project has received the green light and will be ready for a market launch by the end of the decade.
Of course, the information currently available is mainly speculation, but the British magazine claims the vehicle will source its powertrain from the upcoming production Q6 e-tron SUV. This means power will be provided by three electric motors, generating more than 400 horsepower.
More importantly, though, the vehicle will be able to travel up to 500 kilometres (311 miles) on a single charge – roughly the same distance the recently revealed Tesla Model S P100D can go without recharging.
Tentatively called the A9, the vehicle will be positioned above the A8 limousine in Audi’s portfolio. It will also be the biggest and most luxurious model of the new EV range for the company, a range that will include the aforementioned Q6 electric SUV and a successor to today’s A3 e-tron.
”By 2020 we will have three EVs in the lineup,” Stadler told Autocar. “We’ll start with the production version of the e-tron quattro concept car, which will have a range of up to 311 miles (500 km). By 2025, 25 percent of our lineup will be battery-driven models.”
Aimed at the Tesla Model S, the new big electric saloon will be designed to deliver a unique driving experience thanks to its sophisticated powertrain. “Some rivals have gone for a synchronous motor with a high power density but at relatively low revs,” explained Audi R&D boss Stefan Knirsch. “There are also asynchronous motors that typically achieve similar power outputs but at much higher revs. From 2018, our electric cars will be equipped with asynchronous motors. We are convinced they offer higher efficiency levels than synchronous motors.”
In addition, the model will be the first to feature Audi’s level four autonomous technology, allowing the vehicle “to drive itself in many situations — not only on the motorway,” as Ricky Hudi, head of electric development at the automaker, explains.
Note: Audi Prologue concept pictured.