It’s AGM time at Audi, and alongside news of record deliveries (1.8million cars in 2015, and 620,100 in the first four months of this year) and big investment (€3billion in property, plants and future tech’ in 2016) was something a bit more us – news of a new car.
And the news is that beginning in 2018, Audi will launch a new EV every year, starting with a ‘sporty SUV’ with a claimed range of ‘more than 500km’ (310.69 miles). That’s more even than the Tesla Model S, which according to the US Environmental Protection Agency has a highway range of 303.2 miles. Your move, Elon.
Admittedly, this news doesn’t come as much of a surprise. At last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show Audi unveiled the E-tron Quattro Concept (pictured), and quickly confirmed to TG that yes, it would make production and yes, it might look a bit like the concept. The concept had two electric motors, one for each axle, with a combined 503bhp. Audi claimed 4.6secs to 62mph, 131mph and that 310-mile range.
Not a surprise, then, but it’s nonetheless good to see Audi affirming its commitment to the project.
Other news? Well, Audi did let something slip about the new A8, which is one of 20 ‘new or upgraded’ Audis due this year. It will apparently be the first of the brand’s production cars capable of ‘piloted driving’. Details are slim, but Audi claims the A8 will be able to drive itself ‘temporarily’ on motorways at speeds of up to 37mph. This kind of technology is already available in cars like the new Merc E-Class, so it remains to be seen what Audi’s flagship will do to move the game on.