Audi planning an electric version of a new Q8 SUV to take on Tesla Model X

Article by Christian A., on June 23, 2014

Last week we told you that the Tesla Model X all-electric crossover will arrive in early 2015. Tesla’s electric crossover was not a secret as the first prototype was unveiled back in 2012. It appears that the first carmaker to offer an alternative to the Model X will be Audi, who is planning an electric version of the upcoming Q8 SUV.

This model will be a direct rival to the Tesla Model X and according to Reuters it will offer an electric range of about 400 km or 248 miles. We don’t have a clue regarding the range of the Tesla Model X, but we do know that the Model S offers a maximum range of 426 km or 265 miles.

According to Hanover-bases NordLB analyst Frank Schwope, the news about an electric crossover from Audi is not surprising as all German major carmakers have their electric-car plans ready in the drawer because they want tot be prepared when the demand accelerates.

An all-electric version of the Audi R8 supercar is also preparing to hit the dealerships in Europe next year and according to Reuters, it will offer a range of 450 km or 280 miles. Still, this is not the only electric vehicle coming from Audi as the German carmaker drawn up blueprints for several electric saloons and SUVs.

BMW already offers the i3 electric city car that costs 34,950 euros ($47,400), while Mercedes-Benz rolled out the B-Class electric compact.

BMW executives met with Tesla counterparts in order to discuss ways to promote the electric cars but also the steps to create a common infrastructure. Earlier today we also told you that Tesla is planning to expand its fast-charging network in Europe.

Electric from the bottom up, the Model X is engineered to be the safest vehicle around. Tesla's own crash tests point to the Model X receiving a five-star rating in every category, being the first SUV ever to do this.

No need for a big petrol engine under the bonnet, so the Model X has a big crumple zone for absorbing high-speed impact energy. The battery's placement on the floor gives the Model X an incredibly low balance point, lessening rollover risk common with many SUVs. Aluminium pillars with reinforced steel rails protect its occupants and battery while enhancing roof stiffness.

Active Safety

The Model X has standard automatic emergency braking and side collision avoidance, preventing accidents from happening. Tesla produces the only standard AEB system that can work at high speeds.

Each Model X carries a forward-looking camera, radar, and 360-degree sonar sensors to allow for advance autopilot abilities. Tesla's over-the-air updates regularly improve the software for these features, allowing better safety and convenience features like Autosteer and Autopark and bringing the possibility of an autonomous Model X even closer.

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