Audi has confirmed that an all-electric SUV model is in development, which will boast a range in excess of 500km and compete against the Tesla Model X.
Announced in a press release for the all-electric R8 e-tron supercar and mistakenly referred to as a future EV saloon, Audi later clarified to journalists that the vehicle would be an SUV.
However according to Audi engineering chief Ulrich Hackenberg, it won't be based on an existing model from the Q family.
"It will have a specific design," Hackenberg said to UK mag Auto Express at the Geneva Motor Show.
"So we won’t take and A6 or a Q5 or whatever and integrate the battery electric drivetrain."
Past rumours have speculated that the yet-to-be-launched Q8 fastback SUV (think BMW X6) will be Audi's first all-electric SUV, and such a vehicle would be a close match for the Tesla Model X that goes on sale overseas in the third quarter of 2015.
Whether based on the Q8 or not, Audi's pure EV SUV will complement the just-revealed Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid (pictured) in Audi's showroom. For Hackenberg, the Q7 e-tron's diesel-electric powertrain is a more sensible configuration for a full-sized SUV.
With a combined system output of 275kW and 700Nm, the Q7 e-tron can hit 100km/h in six seconds flat yet drinks just 1.7 l/100km on the combined cycle. Fully charged, the Q7 e-tron can also be driven electrically for 56km.
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