Now Audi Sees Tesla as a Serious Threat

Time to get that whole e-tron program into high gear.

Audi has long been tinkering with EVs, although it has yet to launch one. There were plenty of concepts, but the closest production e-tron so far is the A3 Sportback, and that’s going to be a plug-in hybrid. Now that the Tesla Model S is pretty much kicking ass after proving an EV can be both beautiful and a proper daily driver, Audi realizes it’s time to quit messing around. It recently re-approved its R8 e-tron production plan.

Autocar is now claiming that an all-electric version of the automaker’s upcoming Q8 SUV has also been approved for production. A Q8? Really? Yes, it’s being described as a “sports SUV,” a five-door hatchback with a lower roofline than the Q7, with seating for either five or seven passengers. The Q8 e-tron, on sale in 2017, will compete directly with the upcoming Tesla Model X crossover. It’ll have a battery pack with an equal amount of power compared to the Model X, as well as a range of 370 miles. Audi will also produce conventionally powered versions of the Q8, with both gasoline and diesel options.

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