Audi Targeting Tesla With Future EVs Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | Jun, 20 2014 | 0 Comments

Audi has Tesla Motors in its gunsights, and according to a report will bring out a range of all-electric high-end models to counter the upstart American EV manufacturer.

And with rival brand BMW already offering its i3 city car in an all-electric configuration and Mercedes-Benz also planning an all-electric B-Class, Audi is reportedly feeling pressure to ensure more electric cars are in its product development pipeline.

According to unnamed sources within Audi, the German automaker is currently in the early stages of planning for a large electric sedan and an electric SUV- specifically the upcoming Q8 - both of them with a range of around 400km.

The Q8 e-tron would give Audi a direct rival to the upcoming Tesla Model X, a futuristic SUV that is expected to push sales into overdrive for the young American brand when it arrives in early 2015.

But while an all-electric A6 and Q8 are still some distance from the production line, Audi isn't sitting on its hands.

The first production versions of its R8 e-tron supercar (above) are expected to go on sale in either 2015 or early 2016, and will boast a range of some 450km on a single charge.

The Audi A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid will launch locally early next year with a sub-$60k pricetag, and though it isn't a fully electric car (it retains a combustion engine to extend range beyond the battery's 50km capacity), it does at least introduce Audi customers to the idea of electric-only mobility.

Yet though Audi's intent to expand its range of e-tron-badged electric cars is clear, the timeline for their introduction isn't.

The commercial success of EVs like the Tesla Model X and BMW i3 will determine exactly when - or if - Audi pursues its plans for more all-electric products.

MORE: Audi News and Reviews

Source: Reuters

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