Audi Takes Aim At Tesla With E-Tron Sportback Billboard

SUV

Audi is calling the e-Tron Sportback a “Musk-Have.” Get it?

Audi is planning its belated assault on the EV market with the launch of the e-Tron Sportback crossover. While the production model won’t be ready until 2019, the German automaker has already started an aggressive advertising campaign that takes aim directly at Tesla. Currently on display at the Audi City Berlin showroom is a massive billboard trying to persuade you that the Audi e-Tron Sportback is a “Musk-Have,” in a rather obvious jab at Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Whoever thought of that imaginative pun in Audi’s advertising department needs to have a pay-rise. It’s an odd tactic, considering that the Audi e-Tron Sportback is still a concept car, and Audi won’t have a direct competitor to rival Tesla until at least 2018. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model X has been in production since 2015, and the entry-level Model Y is expected to go on sale in 2019. This isn’t the first time the automaker has taken pot-shots at Tesla either. An executive previously commented that Audi is the "first real premium manufacturer doing a premium electric SUV," which is clearly a sly dig at the Model X.

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Don’t be surprised if Elon Musk fires back at Audi when the Model 3 launches this year. Tesla hasn’t faced any direct competition in the EV market so far, but Audi could become a potential threat when it launches its range of all-electric SUVs, starting with the e-Tron Quattro in 2018 and the e-Tron Sportback in 2019. Electric versions of the Q4 and Q8 are also being planned for 2020. First unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show, the e-Tron Sportback concept previews the final production model, which will be powered by a 95-kilowatt battery offering a range of around 310 miles. Three electric motors will produce an output of 503 hp, allowing the electric crossover to reach 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

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