Audi hints at electric hypercar
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