Audi Q8 e-Tron All-Electric SUV (FUTURE)

Written By: EightySix

Edited By: Assen Gueorguiev

Will the Audi Q8 e-Tron rival the Tesla Model X?

Photo Shown is of 2015 Audi Q7. The q8 e-Tron is expected to be built on the same platform
photo credit - audiusa.com

Since Audi showed the first glimpse of its e-Tron supercar in 2009, it has been talking a bunch about electric cars. It has not put one up for sale, however. Audi takes pride in building exciting, top quality vehicles and refuses to release something not worthy of its name. So far, it just hasn't been able to deliver enough electric range. Audi's answer to the Tesla Roadster is still on the drawing board.

That isn't stopping Audi from engineering a reply to Tesla's Model X. Elon Musk's falcon-doored seven seat SUV is expected to be available near the end of 2015. Audi is working on its own electric SUV – the Q8 e-Tron.


What to Expect from the Q8

Audi intends the Q8 to exceed the 270 mile projected range of the Model X. They claim a possible 370 miles. Like the Tesla, the Q8 will have all-wheel drive provided by dual motors. Besides that, not many details have been released or even produced. It's still an idea from a company plagued with a history of delays in its electric car program.

It will be related to the Q7 but with sleeker lines and a longer wheelbase. The Q8 will use the same MLB platform as the Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. Audi designers are aiming for a more coupe-like and less truckish appearance. Using aluminum and high-strength steel, the Q8 should be over 600 pounds lighter than the Q7.

Q8 buyers will have a broad choice of power, including six, eight and twelve cylinder options plus a hybrid and an electric. The EV will need to have a monstrous battery to achieve Tesla's Impressive range. The Model S comes in 60 and 85 kWh versions. So far, Audi's best EV has been an R8 e-Tron prototype with a 48.6 kWh battery and a range of 134 miles.


Where will the Watts Come From?

When Audi’s lead developer Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg reopened the R8 e-Tron project, he stated that they will utilize a "different type of battery". It's a cryptic statement, but heads of industry have at least two reasons to withhold trade secrets. First, they don't want competitors swiping their innovations. Second, they need to create drama.

Will Audi drop the R8 and Q8 e-Trons with a flash of lightning and a boom of thunder? Will they bring Tesla-quality performance with greater range? Or will they shuffle their feet and amend their promises again?

LG recently agreed to provide batteries for Audi's electric and hybrid vehicles. The Korean chemical company already provides lithium-ion cells for the Chevy Volt and Spark. It is working on a deal with Nissan. It aspires to deliver a 200 mile battery by 2016. Perhaps Audi and LG have something powerful up their sleeves.


What the Doubters Think

Critics primarily think that Audi has been all talk and no drive on the subject of electric vehicles. The R8 e-Tron has been shelved, un-shelved and re-shelved a couple times since 2009. Performance has not been the problem. It briefly held the EV lap record at Nürburgring. Zero to sixty disappeared in less than five seconds. Audi has always been frustrated by the range.

The Q7, depending on type of engine, weighs up to 5400 pounds. Audi snipped and scraped to remove over 700 pounds from the newest Q7. They promise more weight loss, but where will it come from? The Model S weighs 4600 pounds. Can Audi and LG produce a battery that can move two and a half tons over 300 miles?

One of Tesla's keys to success has been a single-minded focus on electric vehicles. Since building the Roadster on a Lotus Elise frame, they have strictly used their own platforms designed solely for EVs. The batteries are integrated with the frame of the car. Audi, however is taking a gas-powered SUV and converting it to electricity. Can this be successful?


When Can We Drive One?

The tentative release date is 2017 with an expected price of over $130,000. It will supposedly share a power-train with the R8 e-Tron. The problem is, the R8 e-Tron is currently not for sale. Audi will build one for a special order, but it will not promise a range of much over 100 miles. In order for this dream to come true, LG needs to bring some serious wattage to Audi's cottage.

Yet, innovation without production is still innovation. More technicians working to bring family-sized electric vehicles to the planet is a good thing. One day, we'll take the kids shopping with electric silence and cleanliness.