Audi will add an e-tron hatchback and electric R8 to its lineup
According to Auto Express
, Audi is going to be adding an e-tron hatchback and an electric version of the R8 to its lineup. The e-tron hatchback is expected to arrive in 2021 and cost around £30,000 and the electric R8 is expected to arrive in 2022.
Audi is fast-tracking an electric vehicle programme that will see the German firm launch 20 fully electric cars by the middle of the next decade. A range of never-before-seen EVs is in the pipeline, but some of the brandís best-known models will also make the switch to electric power.
While Audiís focus will initially be on launching EVs at the upper end of its product range, where greater profits can be made, one of the most significant models to arrive will be a compact hatchback that will be priced from around £30,000.
A rival for the forthcoming Volkswagen ID.3, as well as the Tesla Model 3, it will act as Audiís entry point into EV ownership. The car will be the first of three Audi EVs to be based on the VW Groupís MEB architecture, designed for compact to mid-size vehicles.
Previewed in our exclusive images, the model, which is expected to feature Ďe-troní or ĎeO1í in its name, will be similar in size to an Audi A3 but have greater levels of interior space afforded by the new platform.
Audiís positioning as the premium brand in the VW Group means itís not likely to offer the car with the ID.3ís smallest 45kWh battery; instead the choice will be between the 58kWh and 77kWh set-ups. This should offer a range of at least 250 miles, with up to 320 miles possible in a larger-battery edition thatís likely to rival the Model 3 on price.
The MEB platform will let Audi offer entry-level cars with one electric motor at the rear, and a further motor on the front axle for those willing to pay extra for quattro four-wheel drive. Itís expected that the model will hit the market in 2021, giving VW, SEAT and Skoda time to launch their MEB cars first.
New electric Audi R8 due in 2022
With CO2 emissions targets putting more pressure on car makers to clean up their ranges, long-standing Audi models, which have for generations used combustion engines, are also set for a radical rethink. The next version of the brandís flagship, the R8 supercar, is causing huge internal debate within the firmís management.
Audiís CEO Bram Schot said in the spring: ďFocusing also means leaving out. For example, the R8 sports car: do we need a successor with a combustion engine? Does this fit in with our vision? The discussion will give us an answer to that.Ē
However, insiders have suggested that the R8 will have a successor and that it will be fully electric. Audiís board member for technical development, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, told us that a technical solution has already been drawn up.
ďNormally you have a wheel at each corner with the battery pack in the centre, and the pack is 12 or 13 centimetres tall,Ē Rothenpieler told us. ďBut this makes the base of the seating point higher.
ďSo for small, sporty cars with only two seats, we need a different concept Ė such as one bit of the battery in the centre of the car and another bit in front of the front wheels, or behind the rear wheels. Either way, we end up splitting the battery. Thatís what weíre looking at for these iconic cars.Ē
This principle could also apply to the TT Ė another of Audiís long-standing models that will be making the switch to electric power. ďIn a few years, we will replace the TT with a new emotive model in the same price range Ė an electric car,Ē Schot revealed.
Audi could put the electric TT and RE8 onto the PPE architecture itís developing with Porsche. The platform is designed for low-riding models in a range of segments; the Porsche Taycan will be the first model to use the tech, while the Audi e-tron GT four-door coupť will follow in 2021.
The e-tron GT will be Audiís third EV, following the e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs. Itís a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S and is expected to cost around £100,000 when it arrives in showrooms.
The model will use a 95kWh battery that will deliver a WLTP range of 250 miles. The battery will power an electric motor on each axle, and these combine to produce 582bhp and deliver a 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds.