Audi Targets “Premium Customers In Big-Car Sector” With Upcoming Electric Cars

OCT 12 2015 BY MARK KANE 27

Audi e-tron quattro concept - Electric drivetrain with up to 370 kW

Audi e-tron quattro concept – Electric drivetrain with up to 370 kW

Audi e-tron quattro concept unveiled last month in Germany is scheduled for production in 2018 as the Q6 e-tron quattro, although we are quite sure not too many of EV enthusiasts will be able to afford it when priced.

Autocar’s sources at Audi indicates that the company is positioning its electric SUV for premium customers in a big-car sector; which kind of sounds like the Tesla Model X market to us.

The reason for that is the desire for long range (up to 300 miles / 500 km), which requires a large battery (95 kWh in concept) and expensive lightweight materials to bring weight down after adding all those batteries.

A senior insider in Audi’s engineering division said:

“Batteries are heavy so it makes sense to reduce the weight of the car. But as with all weight-reduction materials you have to look at the costs and how you bring the materials together in the factory.

“For example, if you have multi-material bodywork -if you have steel, for example, in combination with aluminum and carbonfibre – you can glue it, rivet it or you can weld it. After that, for example, there’s the painting process and anti-corrosion process – all done at quite high temperatures, prompting the materials to work against themselves. We need a lot of know-how of how to do that, and it’s expensive, too.”

“You need a big car for the space of the batteries to realise 300 miles, and if you have a big battery pack in a big car, it is going to need to be priced appropriately. So we must look for premium customers in a big-car sector.”

Source: Autocar

Categories: Audi

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27 Comments on "Audi Targets “Premium Customers In Big-Car Sector” With Upcoming Electric Cars"

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So… Audi will be in 2018 where Tesla is today… probably without falcon doors and bio defence…

Yes, except that the Audi will have longer range, more practical doors, and less ugliness. And seeing as the Model X won’t really be in production until Q1, I doubt it will be very different just two years later when the Audi debuts.

Until I see the EPA ratings for the car it’s just vaporware.

As per usual you are incorrect and simply looking to talk Tesla down.

Those 300 miles are likely on the EU cycle which is extremely optimistic. When the Audi gets an EPA rating, then we can compare it to the Model X.

And as others have mentioned, the Model X is out today and can be delivered at least two years earlier than the Audi.

I just don’t see this competing directly with the Model X. Not only does it not seat 7 it only seats 4. From the Audi concept press release page: “The two rear passengers sit on comfortable individual seats.” And from another article on the Q6: “Audi says the concept car offers “ample space” for four adults, meaning the new Q6 should do, too. The car’s flat floor means head and legroom is decent and all passengers get individual seats (there’s no bench in the rear).” It seems it would compete more with the Model S which isn’t good for the Quattro. The Quattro won’t really by a real SUV since it sits fairly low and seats only 4 or 5 passengers and it won’t compete well with the Model S since it’s slower than the base Model S90D and even has less passenger space. Then it even fails as an “SUV” when it comes to cargo space. Audi claims it will have 615 litres with seats up and 1725 litres with seats down. The Model S sedan has 812 liters with the seats up and 1869 with the seats down. The frunk adds another 229 liters. So the Q6 e-tron… Read more »

A car which seats only four, and doesn’t have extended room, doesn’t qualify as a “crossover”. The concept car shown above looks like what would properly be described as a “hatchback”, or more specifically a 4-door hatchback.

The Tesla Model S, altho it has a hatchback, has a body profile of a sedan, and it does have a trunk-like well in the rear storage space, so arguably the Model S is properly described as a “hatchback sedan”, altho on its Wikipedia page it’s described as a “liftback”.

in the real world, anyone who is willing to spend $140,000 on a CUV is not primarily driven by a desire for utility. most people don’t buy big SUVs because they measured out the available space in the cargo area, most of them buy them because they like the style, the “bigness” and the high seating position. i suspect that many, if not most, SUV owners could get by with a smaller vehicle; and i’m sure that they would if the US taxed energy use the way that it is in europe. after all, how big is the SUV segment in europe?

Just because a customer is willing to spend $100K-$120K on a car doesn’t mean they won’t look at basic specs and only pick a car based on badge and looks.

Sure there might be some that pick the Q6 for it’s “looks” over the Model X’s superior performance, number of seats and cargo volume but a lot less than those that will pick the Model X.

I think I’d pick Tesla’s business model of making a better car with more to offer than Audi’s business model of make it look cool and give the customer less than your competitor.

you could probably get more carrying capacity in a bentley, than you can get in a fiat. but if you were to actually ask bentley owners why they bought a bentley, i doubt that they would say it was because it allows them to carry more stuff; there are simply more cost-effective ways to achieve that objective.

so what i am suggesting is that i doubt that the people who are buying premium large cars are buying them to haul stuff around – if you really need that attribute, there are simply less expensive ways to go…

That’s not a proper analogy.

Now if a Fiat had more trunk space, had more passenger space, had better performance, had more advanced technology and was at least as luxurious as a Bentley at a similar cost then a customer would be dumb to buy the Bentley.

In this case the Fiat is a Tesla and the Bentley is the Q6 e-tron.

Mark Spiegel, look in the mirror (in german), both you and Anton Wahlman are nothing more then professional Tesla stock shorters.

You have absolutely NO insights to give and you only post to vainly try and depress Tesla’s stock because you have a financial interest in doing so.

Both of you are the epitome of the inherent conflicts of interest that pervade and corrupt out financial systems and by doing so distort markets.

the timing is no big deal, really. the premium segment is small, not particularly price sensitive, and characterized by a lot of turnover (meaning people in this segment are not likely to keep a car for 10 years). a 2 or 3 year window would probably hit it just right for when many Model X users will be back on the market for a new car.

250wh/kg isn’t heavy, as tech stands. It was Porsche who recently reduced the weight of its little Cayenne below 5,376lbs, in the turbo. All the gripes about battery weight are inflated. They’ve had plenty of opportunity to manage their weight problems, and use batteries already.

Yeah you just wait, we will have the all electric SUV one day…….. so don’t buy a Tesla whatever you do! Audi will be there for you …. one day, maybe. Oh and we will get to work on that Audi supercharger network too. right away maybe.

Sitting at a table at Yougurtland in Tejon*, laughed so loud people looked to see who the crazy person was.

I quickly piped down, ducked my head, and glanced out the window to the solar canopy shading three Model S.

I’ll try to be better prepared to contain my mirth next time I see your name in front of a post, EBE.

*middle of nowhere

4 seats, no supercharger network and 3 years for release…fail

It’s really frustrating to me that this site seems to attract more Tesla fanboys than general EV fanboys. I applaud any announcement about another automaker entering the PEV market with such enthusiasm, rather than listing the ways in which the closest Tesla model is or will be better. Face it: as awesome as Tesla is, the world will continue to burn a lot of fossil fuels unless other automakers get on board too.

I don’t see other EVs being shooed away. Judge the book by its cover. 4 seat SUVs? 2 gallon tanks? It goes on, and they do it to themselves.

Dan Neil’s piece (the only Pulitzer prize winning auto journalist) recently framed it so well:

Try google, if you see a paywall.

Well said, and thanks for the link.

Totally agree. I think Tesla is a great company but if a car company, any car company would offer an EV with better specs, electric range and charging infrastructure than the Model 3 when it comes out I would buy that car. I’m not blindly loyal to Tesla, I’m just an informed customer that sees which is the far superior product.

The definition of a fanboy is someone who pledges loyalty no matter what truth they are presented with. If the badge and looks of the Audi Q6 e-tron are the only features that a customer can find superior over a Tesla and they still pick the Audi, that would be a fanboy.

I agree in part. I am not a “Tesla Boy” yet anyway. I will own one in the future hopefully. It is tiresome how these European manufacturers parade out their newest concepts and have yet to really produce anything remotely competitve with a car that has been in production for several years. The only thing close is, other that the I8 – an exotic sports car -the I3 which is odd looking, expensive, and really more of a competitor to the Leaf, Focus Electric, VW and Kia electrics. Show me the Money!! Bring an all electric to market that is a 4 passenger luxury electric with 2-300 mile range and sub 4 second to 60 performance- no such animal – its just conjecture when something will be available to buy that can really be remotely competitive….

“Audi e-tron quattro CONCEPT” (emphasis added)

This is how most traditional car companies get away with blowing through schedules. They just keep rolling out concept car after concept car whenever they have a major delay.

Don’t have something ready for market? Roll out a new concept car!! Then everybody forgets about the last half-dozen concept cars that never made it to market.

I’ve lost count of how many green concept cars we’ve seen from the VW/Audi/Porsche group, and from traditional ICE car companies in general. (I just don’t have enough fingers and toes…..)

I’m sure they are tired of bleeding sales to Tesla in the high dollar performance luxury market segment, but like all of the 10X battery improvements we’ve heard about, I’ll believe it when it hits the showroom floor with an official EPA rating.

VW group outsells Tesla handily in terms of PEV sales in many major EU markets.

This is a prime example of how EV manufacturers get a bad reputation of over-promising range, and then under-delivering on EPA range ratings.

This is an EU story, sourced from a UK car site. That means all of these numbers are for EU consumption, not US.

This happens over and over. European car companies talk about round numbers based upon the European test cycle, and they will NEVER translate to direct EPA ratings.

You can’t compare these range numbers to any current US EPA ratings, than you can compare MPG measured in UK gallons on the EU cycle, to US EPA MPG numbers.

I wish they’d give some more specifics like pricing during these press conferences.

They certainly spend enough cash plastering the wall with ‘electric driving’.

Since this is the same company that gave us the “CLEAN DIESEL” (except only while being tested), I wonder what VW ultimately is going to do. Of course I’d bet with all the litigation their actions have produced over the next decade, that there is plenty of confusion in VW board rooms as to what exactly they’d do anyway. Its probably all in flux.

Didn’t VW announce(a few stories below this one on insideevs) a battery with 3x the energy density? But it won’t be ready in three years?

Less practical doors, less interior space, no supercharger network, and a higher price?

A production 2015 Model X beats a concept
Audi Quattro hands down.