Audi is helping to perpetuate Volkswagen AG’s offensive of introducing more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to help shove the recent Dieselgate scandal under the rug. Part of this includes a car to compete directly with Tesla and it’s tentatively called the A9 E-Tron.
In a recent report from AutoCar, word is that Audi’s A9 E-Tron will be a fully electric luxury sedan. And although Audi insiders didn’t specifically mention what specific Tesla model the new A9 will compete with, the fact that the A9 has been rumored to be a flagship sedan leaves the Model S as the only possible rival.
Previously, the Audi A9 was anticipated to come to life as a flagship luxury four-door coupe, like an A7, but only bigger, more luxurious, and more powerful. It was even previewed by the Audi Prologue Concept from 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show as a competitor to the Porsche Panamera. But that specific project apparently became stagnant as Audi struggled with what direction to take with its next generation of cars. At one point, Audi supposedly even considered making the A9 a softcore flagship crossover, or basically, an enlarged sedan allroad quattro. Let’s also not forget, Dieselgate did shake things up quite a bit at Volkswagen AG and all of its subsequent brands, which includes Audi.
The latest development from the British publication suggests at least 429 horsepower from a network of three electric motors: two for the front wheels and one for the rear axle. They will receive power from a 95-kilowatt-hour battery pack, providing at least 310 miles of range on a single charge, utilizing the European driving cycle. These electric parts will also be used in other Audi EVs, such as the new crossover SUV Audi is planning to complete with the Model X.
Because of the multiple electric motors, engineers programmed the A9 to feature electronically controlled torque vectoring to further replicate the performance of a mechanical all-wheel drive system.
Wireless inductive charging is also not ruled out as an option, as well as some semi-autonomous driving and self-parking technology.
Price? Beats us, but we can’t imagine it to be cheap. With the A9 E-Tron also shaping up to be a competitor to the Model S, it’s safe to bet the price of the A9 will be near the Model S’s.
This is the next step in Audi’s plan to have at least three all-electric vehicles on the road by 2020, according to past statements made by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler.
– By: Chris Chin
Photo Source: Audi