Audi's Rupert Stadler has confirmed that the company's first production electric car will be dubbed the "e-tron" and the name will be used without any specific model designation, similar to its "quattro" launched back in 1980.
Showcased as the e-tron quattro concept SUV at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show, the new EV is among the three upcoming pure electric models from Audi, including a hatchback and a saloon.
While commenting about the usage of e-tron name without any link to an existing model, Stadler explained, "It's 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."
Similar to Audi's quattro, Stadler confirms that the e-tron badge will appear in combination with Audi's more traditional models. "We will have models with the usual names like A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron and so on," Stadler added.
Stadler also teased that Audi is working on an upmarket electric saloon to go against the likes of Tesla Model S. "I do believe that it makes sense forAudi to be positioned in the top premium segment with the new technology."
Stadler also added that the company's first three all-electric models are already under development at Audi's headquarters at Ingolstadt.
When asked whether the third Audi electric car which is due before the end of 2020 could be an MPV, Stadler shared his enthusiasm for an SUV that can be described as a "space concept vehicle".
"Presently, we are experiencing an upward swing in the demand EV concepts. The upcoming EV's would feature ranges between 350 and 450 km.
The space inside the vehicle is an important factor during the development. That means we could see a lot of compact SUVs and but with an improved interior design." Stadler said: "We will engage with this intelligent concept in the middle term."
Despite Audi's front-wheel-drive and quattro models, Stadler does not say anything about the rear-wheel drive concept as a hindrance to the development of EVs.