Audi is putting its trust in its customers using a bold strategy unusual for most modern, established automakers. Using Norway as its test market, Audi has decided to begin taking deposits on its e-tron Quattro for 2018 delivery. The twist? Neither production model specifics or an official price has been announced.
The e-tron Quattro concept is something Audi has been teasing since it was first revealed in 2015. Its goal is to fill the gap somewhere between the Audi Q5 and Q7 SUV, but just don’t call it the Q6 or you’ll upset the branding that Audi has pushed so hard during the project's development over the past four years—and which it plans to continue over at least the next five. In terms of competition, it appears that the e-tron Quattro will butt heads with Tesla’s Model X as the luxury electric utility vehicle of choice.
The vehicle is powered by a 95kWh battery that powers three electric motors—one in the front and two in the rear. Its combined power is about 435 horsepower, or 503 horsepower in Audi’s “boost mode.” In this mode, the SUV rockets from 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, and will continue to put the power down all the way to its electronically-limited 130 mph. With reasonable driving, owners can expect about 310 miles on a full charge.
Why Norway? Electricity is huge there: a well established electric-vehicle infrastructure already exists, and people are definitely buying EVs. In fact, with over 100,000 electric cars on the road already, they continue to sell extremely well. Nearly 40 percent of new vehicles registered in Norway in 2016 were electric, and that number is likely to keep climbing as electricity grows in popularity. This may also be due to Norway exempting the 25 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) for EVs until 2020. Plus, on top of all of the numbers, the e-tron just works: high ground clearance, spacious, and all-wheel drive. It’s a prime contender for the market.
If you live in Norway and are interested in purchase, Audi is ready to take your $3,000 USD (20,000 kroner) for a deposit, but only if you’re not concerned with the final pricing just yet. With all of the electric hype that has been coming through the media over the past few weeks, now is the perfect time. Audi currently has one production electric car for sale, the A3 e-tron. The brand did briefly produced an R8 e-tron, however the car was discontinued with less than 100 units sold.