In his speech at Audi’s Annual Press Conference 2015, Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management at Audi AG for Technical Development announced that the company is bringing a new battery-powered “Sports Activity Vehicle” in early 2018. It will be the brand’s first pure-electric crossover.
Now a new report from Car And Driver claims that this crossover’s range will also be offered with plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell powertrains. These variants won’t be launched right away though. They’ll probably debut at least a year after the original pure-electric crossover’s unveiling, and in a phased fashion.
The company did show interest in the fuel-cell technology last year by unveiling the Audi A7 h-tron quattro concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December. Its fuel cell powertrain produces 170 kW (228 hp) and 540 Nm of torque, making the Sportback capable of doing a 0-100 km/h speed run in just 6.9 seconds and hitting a top speed of 180 km/h. That said, it also boasts of an admirable driving range of over 500 km.
The battery-powered crossover will sit in the large premium segment, i.e. between the Q5 and the Q7. This means that it most likely would be named the Q6. It won’t be larger than the Q7, as that is going to be the Land Rover Range Rover-rivaling Q8, which will then become the range-topping product in the company’s crossover/SUV range. An ‘e-tron’ suffix will obviously tail the Q6 badge, as per the company’s nomenclature system for its electrified vehicles.
The “Sports Activity Vehicle” will be built on the second generation modular longitudinal platform (MLB 2) and have a whole new type of design, which the German automaker is developing specially for the e-tron range and for battery-electric vehicles. It will have an impressive range of more than 500 km. The Tesla Model X-rivaling electric crossover is reportedly debuting as a concept at the 2015 International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September.
[Source: Car And Driver]