Published on February 6th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Audi Q8 e-tron: Competitor To The Model X?

February 6th, 2014 by  

Originally published Gas2.


While everybody was talking about the Tesla Model S in 2013, 2014 is supposed to be the year of the Tesla Model X SUV. But Tesla may see its thunder stolen by the Audi Q8 e-tron, a planned all-electric SUV with a sporty flair and a real-world driving range of some 370 miles. Just don’t expect to see this wunder-SUV before 2017.

That gives Elon Musk a full three-year head start to get the Tesla Model X out of the factory and into customers hands, but don’t expect Audi to just roll over. Tesla has taken a bite out of luxury car sales in some key markets, while proving both the viability and desirability of electric cars. So how can Audi compete?

The formula is surprisingly simple. According to AutoCar’s report, the planned Audi Q8 e-tron could borrow the 376 horsepower electric drivetrain of the upcoming Audi R8 e-tron supercar. The Audi R8 e-tron, if you recall, was cancelled before being saved by new battery technology that doubled the range to more than 250 miles. The more-practical Audi Q8 e-tron, meanwhile, could see up to 370 miles of driving range, if AutoCar is to be believed. As far as what it will look like, I imagine Audi designers will borrow from, though the recently-revealed Audi Allroad might be a good start.

Like the R8, the Q8 will see the electric motors powering the rear wheels, and the battery pack should be at least 80 kWh if not larger to deliver the kind of range talked about here. By 2017, battery technology will be even further refined, and that kind of range should be totally doable. Tesla may have to keep a closer eye on Audi.

Then again, the Tesla Model X will have a huge head start in the electric luxury SUV market, and by the time the Audi Q8 e-tron rolls out, most people should be talking about the Tesla Model E, which is also slated for a 2017 debut.

Elon Musk seems to have ruffled some feathers over at Audi though, and ze Germans have built a reputation for biding their time.

Source: AutoCar

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Larry Perring

    Am I the only one who thinks this looks like a Chrysler Pacifica?

  • wattleberry

    As for ‘ze Germans’, did I imagine some Mercedes involvement in Tesla or not?
    With all these impressive new driving ranges we could be looking at an extension of the ‘Rider’ Cup!

  • Even Proberen

    Tesla is taking the page from the Apple playbook. They are building an eco-system consisting of car(s) + superchargers + innovative (after) sales. Sounds a lot like iPod + music store, doesn’t it?

    In other words to compete with Tesla now (and even more so in 2017) any competitor should also have fast charging infrastructure of the same capacity / coverage as Tesla. I simply don’t see that happening for Audi or for any other manufacturer in 2014 / 2015 timeframe.

    Just as it took many companies number of years to understand what it mens to build an “iPod killer” – it will take clueless german manufacturers a number of years to understand what they are doing wrong. If not – the brand Audi and few others will be no more after 2025.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think Tesla is open to other EVs using their supercharger. The issue for Tesla was that the L3 chargers other EVs were using did not provide enough power fast enough.

      I suspect Elon would be happy to see other EVs start using Tesla’s chargers. His solar company, SolarCity, would have more customers. Tesla could install a lot more superchargers making it more convenient for Tesla owners

      As rapidly as the superchargers can be installed I would think Tesla could stay well in front of demand. Someone is going to make money off EV charging. I would imagine Elon would not be unhappy were it to be a company he owned.

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