Audis-first-electric-model-will-be-called-e-tronAudi boss, Rupert Stadler, has confirmed the company’s first electric vehicle will be named the ‘e-tron’. The title will be carried without any model designations, evoking the naming of the Quattro back in 1980.

One of a trio of electric vehicles planned for launch by Audi, the e-tron Quattro was originally previewed at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2015, a hatchback and large saloon are also slated for launch before 2020.

When asked about the decision to have the vehicles not affiliated to an existing model line up other than e-tron, Stadler said: “It is comparable to the first Audi quattro, which was known simply as the quattro. In the long term the name e-tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure.”

Stadler also confirmed that, in the same way as the Quattro, the e-tron name would appear in combination with some of the brands well known nomenclatures. “We will have models with the usual names, for example A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron and so on.”

The Audi boss also offered strong hints that his company was also currently developing an up-market electric saloon, to offer direct competition to the Tesla Model S.  “I do believe that it makes sense for the Audi brand to be positioned in the top premium segment with this driveline technology.”

Stadler was also quick to point out that the proposed electric saloon would not act as a replacement for the long planned A9. Instead, it is expected to possibly take the A8 e-tron name, and form part of the three electric vehicles currently under development at the company headquarters at Ingolstadt.

When quizzed as to whether the third of the proposed electric vehicles would be a compact MPV style offering, in the mould of the original A2, Stadler merely revealed his enthusiasm for an SUV with what he called a “space concept vehicle” tweak.

“We are presently experiencing an upward swing in the demand for such electric concepts, primarily in large megacities. They would be well suited with ranges of between 350 to 450 km. The subject of space is an important one. That means we’ll see compact electric cars, but with vastly improved interior design. Customers want ease of entry, a command seating position and the feeling of safety.”

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