Audi has a new range-topping all-electric luxury car in the works that will likely be called the A9 e-tron.
This car will serve as the pinnacle of the German automaker’s all-electric car lineup, sitting above a new A3 e-tron and the upcoming Q6 e-tron SUV. Range on a single charge is expected to be 311 miles (500 kilometers) for the A9 e-tron while performance is said to match the Tesla Model S, which can now sprint to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds in top trim.
“By 2020 we will have three EVs in the line-up,” Audi boss Rupert Stadler told Autocar. “We’ll start with the production version of the e-tron quattro concept car, which will have a range of up to 500km. By 2025, 25% of our line-up will be battery-driven models.”
The technology in Audi’s new electric models was teased by the e-tron Quattro Concept last year, though the Prologue Concept (seen above) offers more hints as to what the A9 e-tron will look like. Like the Quattro Concept, the A9 and Q6 e-tron are expected to use three electric motors which all together produce roughly 430 horsepower, with one motor sending power to the front wheels and two for the rear. A power boost up to 496 hp and around 590 pound-feet of torque will be temporarily available thanks to a sport drive mode.
Both the Q6 and A9 e-tron will also share the same battery, a liquid-cooled 95 kWh unit that is bolted to the floor. Along with traditional plug-in EV charging, Audi will offer wireless charging.
In the self-driving department, Audi expects this EV to be its first vehicle to feature level four autonomy, which means the car can fully drive itself in all situations. The upcoming 2018 A8 will be the brand’s first vehicle with level three autonomy, allowing it to fully drive itself on highways at speeds below 37 mph.
The A9 e-tron is expected to hit the market by 2020.