There’s a reason why Tesla is an electric car success, Musk and company dismissed conventional wisdom and released a luxury electric car first. Now, the rest of the automakers are playing catch-up in the luxury segment and Audi just announced they will be demonstrating the Audi e-tron Quattro concept at the Frankfurt International Motor Show this September.
Audi says the four-passenger SUV Quattro — to me, a CUV — will achieve up to 310 miles on a battery charge when it’s released for full production in 2018. As seen above, the concept sketch shows a body design eerily similar to the conceptual drawings of the original Chevy Volt (see original design). A design, which I really liked.
With success comes imitation and the e-Tron Quattro will store the battery pack under the passenger compartment and run the length of the vehicle, much like the Model S and Model X. This vehicle will have all-wheel drive and borrow from the Audi R8 e-tron sports car by having three electric motors – one on the front axle and two on the rear axle.
Competition is heating up in the SUV space. This fall, Volvo will roll out a plug-in hybrid vehicle called the XC90 T8 and will offer a mere seventeen miles with its battery pack – good enough for those wanting to ease their way into the electric vehicle market.
It’s a nice looking vehicle and Volvo hopes to capitalize on the success of its internal combustion engine XC90 version. According to Volvo, the company has more than 30,000 pre-orders on the books (from July). However, this SUV starts at $69,095, which positions it very close to a presumed base price of a Tesla Model X.
And this begs the question, what will be the differentiator at this luxury level? BMW and Mercedes are also playing in the PHEV sandbox, too. Both will have their luxury PHEV vehicles debut this fall with a battery range similar to Volvo’s SUV.
The Andy Palmer-lead Aston Martin is throwing its hat into the ring with their recent announcement of the , able to produce 200 miles per charge when it arrives in 2017, according to Aston Martin representatives.
According to the Detroit Bureau and Auto News, the 800-horsepower — yeah that’s right — Rapide will cost between $200,000 to 250,000 when it finally hits showrooms. The Rapide won’t have 2.8 seconds 0 to 60 acceleration gusto like the Ludicrous Model S P90D. Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin added recently “that the Model S acceleration is “stupid” (fast) and the Rapide’s strength will be on a road course, not the drag strip.”
Ok, sir Andy Palmer let’s not get so high-and-mighty. Anyway, Palmer said that the Rapide will be just the first in its all-electric lineup, with a DBX crossover coming in the next five years.
The competition is ramping up announcements and commitments to all-electric vehicles, which is great news, and watching the competition should be fun. However, company partnerships is also possible with this new drivetrain technology.