This could put a serious damper on Elon Musk's parade.
By tuning into what Audi CEO Rupert Stadler had to say at the 2017 Vienna Motor Symposium, Car and Driver extrapolated a few bits of information on what the automaker is planning for the next few years in regards to electric vehicles. As part of the Volkswagen Group, Audi, along with Porsche and Volkswagen's ID sub brand, is leading one of the more convincing charges against Tesla, and its weapon has thus far been shown to the world in the form of the e-tron Quattro.
More recently we saw Audi use the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show as a stage with which to unveil the e-tron Quattro Sportback, a model that is about 80% complete and that appears poised to fight upcoming EVs like the Jaguar I-Pace and BMW i5 (if that thing ends up being a crossover). There is, however, one model that Stadler made mention of that sounds like a more promising way to scoop up the masses. That would be an e-tron premium compact vehicle, as it's lack of official name is leading it to be called. The best way to think of the baby e-tron is as a Tesla Model 3 competitor that will ride on the Volkswagen Group's modular electric architecture (MEB).
That platform was first previewed on the electric I.D. SUV and later seen again on the I.D. Buzz Concept as well as the I.D. Crozz. Stadler went on to mention that the mini e-tron would come fitted with two electric motors, one for the bow and another at the stern. Power output is expected to come in around the 300 horse mark while range should be equal with 300 miles on tap after every full charge. It's recommended that prospective customers hold their breath for lesser entry-level variants if saving cash is a priority and performance is not. While the Model 3 has hype carrying Tesla with it, the e-tron compact will have the advantage of being refined by the experienced hand of Audi.
It will also tie or beat the Model 3 to market with a 2019 launch as a 2020 model. C/D was clear to mention that the closest rendition of this car is the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz concept. Even though Musk appears to have the upper hand at the moment, this could quickly change once the world's largest automaker gives the electric car a crack.