Audi technical boss Ulrich Hackenberg has a huge job ahead of him if he's going to add more electrified models his employer's portfolio. Currently, the German company's electrified offerings amount to just the Q5 Hybrid in the US and the A3 E-Tron in Europe, but British auto mag Autocar is claiming that Hackenberg wants to add a Tesla Model X-rivaling electric version of the company's long-rumored Q8 utility vehicle to the plans. That E-Tron model, said to be a high-riding crossover with coupe-like lines, is expected to be Ingolstadt's CUV flagship, positioned just above the Q7 (pictured above).

Autocar further maintains that Q8 E-Tron will borrow its front- and rear-mounted electric motors (good for around 375 horsepower) from the recently revived R8 E-Tron, and the model could be ready as soon as 2017. This sporty CUV is expected to have a much greater range than the two-door electric sports car, however. Figure on about 370 miles thanks to room for extra batteries.

The still-not-confirmed Q8 range is expected to be offered with gasoline, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains, and will ride on the same platform as the Q7, albeit fitted with sleeker styling. Like all of Audi's upper-end offerings, it will make extensive use of aluminum for the body and chassis to keep weight down.

While word is that it's likely that Audi will build the Q8, the idea of dedicated EV version is still very much a rumor. Audi is pushing electrification because many cities, especially those in Europe, are instituting carbon-dioxide emissions limits within their city centers. However, whether Audi is willing to gamble on such a large electric vehicle is still up for debate.


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  • 26 Comments
      Marco Polo
      • 10 Months Ago
      A 370 mile range, Audi EV, would certainly be a great addition to the growing number of EV models. Audi are also working on very fast inductive charging. Since Audi are one of the worlds most profitable auto-makers, there's no pressure on Audi from it's VW parent to hasten investment in EV production. Audi can afford to continue a relatively leisurely pace of development, learning from the early pace setters, and continuing research projects with Sanyo. VW is to be praised for allowing its Bavarian subsidiary considerable autonomy. Opel and Vauxhall, have suffered from GM's lack of support , or autonomy, for GM's long time European subsidiaries. In Europe and the UK, the Ampera languishes, due to a lack of marketing commitment from Detroit, and especially, a lack of autonomy for Vauxhall to develop its own marketing strategies.
      RetrogradE
      • 10 Months Ago
      "...if he's going to add more electrified models his employer's portfolio." What? I know this isn't grammarblog, but I expect more from a reputable auto news site. Is AOL too poor to hire editors? How much is AB paying these "writers"? Can't be much, if anything.
      vroooomy
      • 10 Months Ago
      hopefully the Q8 will compete in the size range of the Infiniti QX80 and Lexus LX. as much as i love the q7 its small for us 'mericans
      Koenigsegg
      • 10 Months Ago
      blah blah blah lets actually see it
      knightrider_6
      • 10 Months Ago
      Before they do all electric powertrain, they should make power windows work properly.
        Hernan
        • 10 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        Mine work fine...?
          Lachmund
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Hernan
          don't give him attention. he hasn't even driven one yet alone owned one. haters gonna hate.
      Scooter
      • 10 Months Ago
      What about Model X's 5.5-6 second 0-60 and gull wing doors? Not to mention its a Tesla and the Q8 EV is an EV Q8. I'm seeing tons of Model S cars here in Texas! The place where it was supposed to be the hardest to get one. I can't remember the last time I saw a 7 series or A8 that wasn't 10 years old. The battle really doesn't come down to range or what ever tech is running under hood. No diesel A8 or diesel 7 series will match Model S simply because Model S is an exotic car in its own right. Model X is even more exotic. It looks very chic, futuristic and quite simply put, like a work of art. I know many people who love Model S simply for the giant info-tainment screen in the dash. I guess what I'm saying is an EV Audi or diesel Audi simply can't match the looks and exotic flair of Tesla's offerings.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Scooter
        That's amazing considering Tesla still cannot legally sell in Texas...or has that been resolved?
      danfred311
      • 10 Months Ago
      Pigs could fly
      Levine Levine
      • 10 Months Ago
      Another Audi publicity nonsense. Audi is famous for splashing headlines for flashy cars that never materialize. Its sole purpose is to capture the fancy of the voyeur. Essentially, Audi is an attention ***** who titillates but can't perform. And like a empty soul *****, Audi will rip you off +for pocket change.
        Marco Polo
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Levine Levine
        @ Levine Levine You're always so negative, and pretty weird . How can Audi, or anyone, " rip you off " by not selling you a car ? Concept cars, and experimental vehicles, are just what the maker says they are, glimpses into possible styling, or technical, influences of future models. The auto-maker is under no obligation, moral, or otherwise, to build such vehicles. If you can't understand the difference between an experimental vehicle, displayed for discussion purposes, and a production model, that's not Audi's fault.
          Technoir
          • 10 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco Agreed, but Audi has made a number of announcements saying their EVs are going into production, with delivery dates (2012, 2013, etc..) and then did not deliver. Their messages to the public have been confusing. If they had controlled what messages go out then not too many people would be angry.
      DaveMart
      • 10 Months Ago
      Its clear that this is VW/Audi's new battery technology, which has led also to the R8 E-tron being reinstated for production as they can do ~80% more range. They have been using batteries of around the same specific energy as the Leaf, in the recently released E-Up. I am going to refer to the pack level here, rather than the cell level, which is obviously greater as there are additional things which go into a pack. In the Leaf/E-Up packs are about 80Wh/kg. The Tesla's Panasonic 18650 give around 150Wh/kg at the pack level ( 85kwh in a ~600kg pack) So VW have matched the Panasonic's in a prismatic format, it looks like, as they have never fancied wiring together 18650 batteries. It is though going to take them a couple of years to gear up for production, apparently. That is unfortunate for their ambitions to be the leader in electrified vehicles by 2018 IMO, as I think Nissan/Renault are about to eat their lunch. Recently Nissan surveyed Leaf owners to ask how much extra they would be prepared to pay for 150 miles of range, with the most costly option being $5,000. Clearly they would not be asking in order to tell them that they can't have that anyway, so tough, the only reason to ask the question right now is that they have higher density batteries more or less ready to go, as if people sniff that more range may become available they might delay purchases of the present Leaf. It would seem to be this battery, which fits the specs: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/nissan-nmc-20091129.html So way back in 2009 they thought that they could produce a NMC battery by around 2015 with approaching double the energy density of the current Leaf. Renault have also been hinting that there are surprises in store in 2014. I think the new batteries are coming very soon.
        DaveMart
        • 10 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        I don't believe I remarked on how great an achievement VW and Nissan getting better batteries is, or contrasted or compared it to that of Panasonic. Personally I welcome progress from any direction, and don't feel the need to knock one thing to praise another. IMO it will be great to have more than one source of high energy batteries in volume, and a lot of people should enjoy and have great use from longer range in their Leaf and Renault cars, and VW's when they get their act together. Nissan, if we are in the praise and blame game, surely deserve some props for being together with Mitsubishi one of the pioneers of BEV vehicles for the mass market.
          Val
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          aww, you are SO right, i should be happy for you and your take on imaginary/speculative ideas.
          DaveMart
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          You love knocking the whole world, don't you? I have given my take on what is happening. If you don't believe it, don't care, or don't think it is of any import that is up to you. Carry on with a grey drizzle of disapproval, and have fun with it.
        DaveMart
        • 10 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        I thought I would make a separate post to discuss what a 150 mile NMC battery in the Leaf would mean for cycle life. From the link I gave in the post above: ' The new battery can store about twice as much electricity as batteries with positive electrodes made only from manganese. It is robust enough for practical use, able to withstand 1,000 or so charge cycles. Nissan estimates that the battery will cost about the same as conventional lithium ion ones to produce, as it contains only a small amount of cobalt, a relatively expensive metal.' These figures are normally given to 80% capacity, so it is going to get around 135,000 miles down to 80% capacity ( 150,000 times the average of 100% and 80% = 90% ) But it will still have 120 miles of range left, ie way more than the present Leaf has when brand new, at 84 miles EPA. Running that again, then after another 108,000 miles it should still have 96 miles of range left. Those figures are very rough, as the capacity reduction curve tends to reduce in steepness, and OTOH there is calender life to consider, so some modules may need replacing. Additionally 1,000 cycles to 80% is at the low end of the figures for NMC batteries, which in some formulations may do up to 4,000 cycles, so Nissan may have improved that. People in really brutal climates like Arizona may do much worse, but NMC is generally more temperature tolerant than the previous LMO. So effectively assuming Nissan executes properly and does not make another screw up as they did with their testing for Arizona, this should usually be a battery which gives decent range for the life of the car. That's the theory, at any rate! ;-)
          Actionable Mango
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Is there any automaker designing batteries with replaceable modules? Replacing the whole pack is the only thing I've heard of.
          DaveMart
          • 10 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Nissan has replaceable modules to start with, as at the time everyone was trying to find out what the replacement pack price was the only information that could be gleaned was the price for the modules. I would imagine that they all do, as that is the way the pack is constructed, by putting together modules, even Tesla.
      Semislicks
      • 10 Months Ago
      And how much will it cost??? Probably like Q7 V12 TDI. Totaly irrelevant. Even A3 E-Tron is expencive as sin. For that money you can get S3 or TTS. And people that can afford that arent interested in fuel economy.
      miketim1
      • 10 Months Ago
      I look at this car and all I see is a massive maintenance and repair bills. Looks good tho ! lol
      knightrider_6
      • 10 Months Ago
      "high-riding crossover with coupe-like lines" So it will look like an uglier X6
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