Volkswagen's diesel crisis may have also had something to do with the Q7 e-tron's death.
As far back as 2013, the Audi rumor mill was churning, spewing information about a so-called Q7 e-tron set to debut sometime in 2016. Now that it’s 2017, there’s no e-tron in sight even with the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the last opportunity for a last minute reveal, having come and gone. Despite using 2016 to announce that it would be launching an all-out barrage of EVs, it seems to be a bit shy about the plug-in hybrid Q7. According to Car and Driver, that’s because the German automaker has scrapped plans for the SUV.
Instead, Audi has decided to build a fully electric crossover under the e-tron Quattro name. This is a wise move given that Ford and a few other automakers have announced fully electric models are on the horizon, and as early as 2015 we got wind that Audi was working on an SUV that has 300 miles of electric range, placing it directing across the boxing ring from the Tesla Model X. While we could see a later 2017 debut of the Q7 e-tron, Car and Driver speculates that it won’t come to market at all, with the project being trashed to bring all hands on deck for the electric SUV. Aside from turning its attention to the e-tron Quattro, the fact that the original Q7 e-tron was going to utilize diesel engines could be another factor in the project’s demise.
After all, we all know what happened to Volkswagen and its TDI program. The e-tron Quattro won't see the light of day until at least 2019 and be priced between $65,000 and $70,000. This helps it appeal to a more abundant class of buyers under the Model X price range, and while the electric SUV sounds promising, it will have no edge on the competition. 2025 is supposed to be the year where 25 percent of Audi sales are comprised of electrified cars, but by as early as 2019, Tesla could have a smaller SUV out and about (if the Model Y rumors are proven true) while Jaguar, Ford, Mercedes, and BMW could also roll out EV SUVs. Whatever happens, these next few years won't be boring.