The Frankfurt Motor Show (aka International Motor Show or IAA) is one of the biggest auto shows in the world, and it is increasingly one of the biggest shows (if not the biggest) for revealing new plug-in cars and plug-in concept cars. The Volkswagen group unleashed or teased a few this week in Frankfurt, and two of them were the Audi e-tron quattro and Audi Q7 e-tron, which I’ll discuss in more depth here.
Audi e-tron quattro
Right before the actual unveiling, Audi released visualizations of the e-tron quattro, an all-electric vehicle… I guess just to inspire a little excitement and get more people in the paparazzi shots at the actual unveiling.
Audi has certainly highlighted the e-tron quattro concept in its press materials, with the majority of its current photos from the IAA focusing on the all-electric SUV/CUV. Here are 5 of them:
While it is a concept car, Audi wrote at the top of a press release about all of its new offerings that the e-tron quattro was “near production.” Unfortunately, the year it hits market is actually 2018… so I’m not sure I’d call that “near production.” Skipping past semantics and flowery corporate rhetoric, though, it is nice that Audi has a fully electric vehicle in the works, that it looks sporty and sleek yet powerful, and that it is genuinely highlighting it rather than stuffing it in a back corner.
Considering how well the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid has done in Europe, there’s likely a lot of room for another plug-in SUV.
Okay, here’s some corporate talk as well as a few key specs:
It is based on the second-generation modular longitudinal platform, which offers considerable degrees of freedom in configuring the drive system and package. The design of the sporty SUV is based in large part on aerodynamic requirements – with a Cd figure of 0.25, the car sets the benchmark in the SUV segment. The electric drive – with three electric motors that output up to 370 kW – follows the e-tron quattro concept. The lithium-ion battery in the car’s floor enables over 500 km (310.7 mi) of driving range and thereby full everyday practicality. Innovative technical solutions in the areas of controls and infotainment also deliver a high level of convenience and user friendliness. The Audi e‑tron quattro concept comes equipped with the technology for piloted driving.
500 kilometers (311 miles), as announced before, is a considerable all-electric range — even based on NEDC numbers. Supposedly, it will be able to scoot to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 4.6 seconds. These numbers and the class of the vehicle seem to put it in competition with the Model X… except that the Model X is coming out now and the e-tron quattro will theoretically be coming out in 3 years. Hard to call that a competitor, but will have to wait a few years to judge the two vehicles and the playing field at that time.
Oh yeah, also, the e‑tron quattro will also only seat 4… compared to the X’s 7.
As reported before, Audi will be using battery cells from LG Chem and Samsung SDI but will be putting them together in battery packs itself.
Audi Q7 e-tron
The Audi Q7 e-tron (or, if you want the full name, Q7 e‑tron 3.0 TDI quattro) is a plug-in hybrid rather than a fully electric car that first debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. It has 275 kW (373 hp) of system power, and goes from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 6.0 seconds.
Again based on the overly generous NEDC numbers, Audi reports a fuel economy of 1.7 liters of diesel fuel per 100 km (138.4 mpg), as well as an electric driving range of 56 kilometers (34.8 miles).