Audi expects tough year amid model changes

Kelley Robertson
March 17, 2018

The Audi e-tron GT is coming, and it looks to be aimed at toppling Tesla's Model S.

"This highly emotive spearhead from Audi Sport is to be produced at our Böllinger Höfe plant near Neckarsulm as of 2020", says Stadler.

While confirming plans for the e-tron GT, Stadler also revealed Audi's first pure electric model, the e-tron quattro SUV, will cost from €80,000, the equivalent of $A126,000, when sales officially begin in Germany later this year. Late this year, the company's first fully electric series- produced model will be launched- the Audi e-tron. Once it arrives, the GT will be Audi's e-tron flagship auto. A model such as the diesel-electric plug-in Q7 e-tron might have to drop its existing badging in favor of some sort of new model code, but although Glaser admits something has to be done, he didn't make any suggestion as to what that will be. Overall, Audi plans to roll out more than 20 electrified models by 2025, including hybrid variants. One of the largest changes that is nearing release is the e-tron, Audi's newest electric SUV that it plans on launching in the near future.

"We interpret sportiness very progressively with our fully electric e-tron GT", said Audi board chairman Rupert Stadler, "And this is how we will take our high-performance brand Audi Sport into the future".

Audi e-tron prototype
Audi e-tron prototype

"2018 is an exceptional year and requires a feat of strength from Audi", finance chief Alexander Seitz said at an earnings press conference. This should be good for a 0-62 time under 3.5 seconds, performance which could well be replicated by the e-tron GT.

The interior will doubtless be built around Audi's Virtual Cockpit display, as well as the dual-screen infotainment system from the A8.

That second auto will likely sell in higher volumes, but clearly Audi feels the e-tron range of all-electric vehicles has to include high-end competitors for both of Tesla's more expensive models.

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