Audi hints at elec­tric hy­per­car

Auto Car (UK) - - GENEVA MOTOR SHOW -

AUDI’S BRAND EQ­UITY is strong enough to jus­tify more ex­pen­sive mod­els in its line-up, ac­cord­ing the com­pany’s boss, Ru­pert Stadler.

He was speak­ing at the Geneva mo­tor show, where Audi un­veiled the RS Q8 con­cept. An al­most pro­duc­tion-ready range­top­ping SUV that will be launched in 2018 at a start­ing price of around £55,000, the price of the ve­hi­cle could po­ten­tially rise as high as £110,000 for a top-spec per­for­mance vari­ant.

Stadler said Audi was ready to cre­ate more ex­pen­sive cars: “There is still room for us to ma­noeu­vre. I don’t be­lieve we are at the lim­its. Of course, there are dif­fer­ences be­tween a small se­ries of be­spoke cars and main­stream pro­duc­tion mod­els, but there is room to go up.”

Stadler con­firmed that Audi’s first elec­tric car, a Q5-sized SUV, is un­likely to be called the Q6. “Such a name cre­ates ex­pec­ta­tions on pric­ing,” he said, hint­ing that its bat­tery-elec­tric pow­er­train will push start­ing prices up to around £60,000.

Stadler also re­vealed that Audi could launch an elec­tric hy­per­car to ri­val the Mercedes-amg Project One and As­ton Martin Valkyrie.

If the hy­per­car goes ahead, it is likely to ar­rive to­wards the end of the decade, when Audi has com­mit­ted to hav­ing three elec­tric mod­els on sale.

“I am look­ing for­ward to what’s pos­si­ble in terms of new tech­nol­ogy,” said Stadler, when asked if the Audi Sport di­vi­sion could de­velop the hy­per­car. “There are some in­ter­est­ing ideas there, espe­cially if you look at our in­ter­est in For­mula E and elec­tro­mo­bil­ity.”

Audi’s last at­tempt at an elec­tric per­for­mance car, the Audi R8 e-tron, was axed 19 months after be­ing launched in 2014. That car was pow­ered by two elec­tric motors pro­duc­ing a com­bined 456bhp and 679lb ft.

Stadler’s com­ments point to­wards the hy­per­car hav­ing a pure-elec­tric pow­er­train, as op­posed to us­ing elec­tric power to aug­ment an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine.

RS Q8 points to a new range­top­ping Audi SUV

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