Audi to Launch 3 New Electric Models by 2020, Self-Driving City Car by 2021
The German automaker is going full steam ahead on futuristic forms of automotive mobility.
Like many of its siblings in the Volkswagen group, Audi has made little secret of its plans to blast into the automotive future in the next few years. Now, the squad from Ingolstadt have revealed a few more specifics about the carmaker's plans for the next few years: Specifically, that Audi will be hauling out three new fully-electric vehicles in the next three years, with a self-driving urban runabout model ready for production a year later.
According to Autocar's account of the announcements, which were made at Audi's annual general meeting in Germany, the three new electric models scheduled to arrive by 2020 include two known vehicles—the e-tron SUV, expected in 2018, and its Sportback sibling, likely to arrive in 2019—as well as a third e-tron model, which has yet to be announced. (Those shouldn't be confused with the A3 e-tron, the somewhat outdated plug-in hybrid hatchback Audi has sold for the last couple years.)
Thanks to greater platform sharing with Porsche, the new e-tron models may wind up borrowing their structure from the track-ready, 800 volt-charging Porsche Mission E, which is scheduled to hit the streets in large numbers in 2019.
Audi also reportedly stated at the meeting that it intends to have a production-ready autonomous vehicle designed for use in urban environments by the year 2021. Given both the relatively short timeframe and the fact that the vehicle is described as being "city-based," we at The Drive are betting Audi is shooting for Level 4 autonomy, not the truly-boundless Level 5 that serves as the Holy Grail of self-driving cars.
All told, Audi reportedly plans to begin transitioning its core models to partially- or fully-electric powertrains over the next decade, with a goal of having one-third of new vehicles sold be EVs or hybrids by the year 2025. But Audi isn't abandoning the more traditional automotive realms. According to Autocar, before the trio of e-tron models arrive, two new swoopy four-door sports-utility coupes will debut: the smallish Q4 and the fancy-pantsy Q8.
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