Luxury automaker Audi has plans to debut a new electric sport utility vehicle at the upcoming auto show in Frankfurt. The concept vehicle reportedly has a range of over 310 miles or 500 kilometers, a number beyond the range of rival Tesla’s Model S and upcoming Model X. Production for the new Audi is set to start in 2018.
Audi’s electric SUV features style and design
Audi’s electric SUV will feature a large lithium-ion battery located between the axles and underneath the passenger compartment to create a design with a low center of gravity, which will give the car a significant advantage over traditional SUVs. The display car boasts three electric motors with movable components to enhance aerodynamics and extend driving range. The German company is not divulging too many details about the upcoming car or its price. The vehicle is described as the e-tron quattro with a size that’s between that of the Q5 and Q7. The car features the traditional SUV body with a coupe-like cabin. Unlike most SUVs and crossovers which seat five or seven people, Audi’s next SUV will sit four. However, any of these features could change before the production phase starts.
Audi competes with Tesla
Audi’s top competitor is Tesla, the electric auto maker company run by billionaire Elon Musk, who is currently looking to sell off his 2.7 million shares. Many luxury automakers see Tesla as a major threat because of the premium design and structure of its cars. The company initially planned to start production of the Model X during the latter part of 2013, but the project got sidetracked and is now behind schedule.
Audi has been gaining a lot of interest in electric vehicles. The company debuted the 2016 R8 e-tron electric sports car, which features a 280-mile range. The Audi R8 will be built by hand and be available in a limited quantity.