Audi AG intends to launch an electric-powered crossover in 2017 targeted towards wealthy, environmentally conscious buyers. The electric crossover will be Audi’s first mainstream all-EV. The luxury carmaker plans to launch an electric version of the Audi R8 sports car, after commencing deliveries of the A3 E-Tron plug-in hybrid hatchback this year.
Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler told Bloomberg that their engineers are working on an electric car that will comply with regulations for a zero-emission vehicle in the United States. The move comes as German carmakers become more wary of Tesla’s emergence as viable rival.
Tesla will commence deliveries of the Model X SUV next year. Just recently, Tesla boosted its image by getting the highest score at this year’s edition of the Consumer Reports owner-satisfaction survey. Behind Tesla is Porsche, followed by Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
For this year, Audi is seeing deliveries of over 1.7 million cars – a new record for the carmaker. The current world No. 2 luxury carmaker is targeting to grab the top spot currently occupied by BMW by 2020. To achieve that, Audi is planning to further expand in the United States, where its deliveries surged 15 percent so far this year.
The carmaker has already sold more vehicles this time of the year than in full-year 2013, when it sold 158,061 cars. Audi is also trying to surpass BMW and Mercedes in the US. Stadler remarked that Audi’s growth in the US will continue and is eyeing to sell 200,000 units in the country.
With fuel-efficiency seen as an indication of cutting-edge technology, Audi has embedded cleaner running vehicles as part of its strategy, as it will be essential in justifying higher prices of its products.