It looks as though everyone it gunning for Tesla Motors these days. Aston Martin is developing an 800hp, all-electric version of its Rapide luxury sedan to do battle with the Model S, and we saw yesterday that Porsche is clearly gunning for the Model S with the Mission E Concept.
Now the Volkswagen Group has pulled wraps off its vision of a luxury crossover for the future: the Audi e-tron quattro Concept. Not surprisingly, the crossover looks very similar to the renders that were leaked a few months back, showcasing a body that has a nice mixture of muscular curves and just enough creases to make things interesting. You won’t mistake it for anything but an Audi, which could be either a good thing or bad thing depending on where your tastes lie.
When it comes to the Hot Hardware lurking underneath, you’ll actually find three electric motors handling propulsion duties. A single motor handles the front axle, while the each of the two rear wheels has its own dedicated electric motor. When combined, the three motors generate a respectable 429hp. However, up to 496hp can be corralled using a temporary “boost” mode. Audi says that the vehicle will go from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 130 miles. The vehicle’s 95 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is good for a long 310 miles between recharges.
Needless to say, the e-tron quattro puts up respectable numbers, but it still will be no match for the Tesla Model X Signature Series which pairs a 259hp front-mounted electric motor with a torque-thumpin’ 503hp rear-mounted motor. The crossover can hit 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds and keep on truckin’ up to a top speed of 155 mph.
"Audi will present an all-electric, luxury-class sport SUV in early 2018. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept provides a concrete foretaste of this," said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, a Member of the Audi Board of Management for Technical Development. "It combines driving pleasure with great range, an expressive design and excellent comfort."
The electric vehicle market is about to really heat up, not only at the high-end with vehicles like the Model X and the upcoming e-tron quattro, but also at the lower end with vehicles like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model III. We have Tesla to thank for making us all change our minds about what electric vehicles are capable of, and it good to see that more manufacturers are starting to embrace what could be the future of automotive transportation.