Audi’s EV onslaught kicked into high gear with confirmation of production of the four-door E-Tron Gran Turismo today.
With production expected to begin early next decade, the E-Tron GT will be the Audi Sport competitor to the high-performance Tesla Model S. The new E-Tron will be built at Audi’s Bollinger Hofe facility near Neckarsulm, Germany, where the R8 supercar currently resides.
A recent report from Automobile Magazine pointed out that Audi doesn’t have a replacement planned for the R8, meaning the sporty luxury coupe might be phased out in 2020 to make room for the new EV sedan and the new Lamborghini Huracan.
Audi’s EV plans continue with the E-Tron Quattro SUV to be produced in Brussels, Belgium, as well as the first round of fully electric-series vehicles coming later this year. An E-Tron Sportback will also arrive sometime next year to be produced alongside the Quattro SUV.
Today, at its annual press conference, Audi announced that it’s primed and ready to introduce a new vehicle every three weeks this year, with 20 new and redesigned models on the way.
The 2018 onslaught, which Audi CEO Rupert Stadler called “a year of transition,” will include the redesigned A6 sedan and Q3 crossover, all-new Q8 SUV, E-Tron Quattro, and grand-touring E-Tron GT sedan just to name a few.
While an exciting turn of events for consumers, Audi predicts the offensive could hurt deliveries, with tremendous bottlenecking expected. Not to mention, as a result of parent company Volkswagen AG’s “dieselgate” scandal, Audi had to pay out another $478 million last year to hit new vehicle testing standards the German automakers must now comply with as punishment for their dirty diesel engines.
Last year, the brand managed to cut spending by 1 billion euros thanks to cuts in research and development, sales and other departments to help allot more funding for electric-car production.
With stable-mate Porsche backing up Audi in a new joint EV venture, the Stuttgart automaker will launch 20 electrified models by 2025, with more than half being fully electric vehicles. The two will co-develop new vehicle architectures to better accommodate EV drivetrains.
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