Audi to develop all-electric family car

Audi A3 e-tron Sportback tracking
21 Nov, 2014 9:59am Jonathan Burn

Audi's new Tesla Model S rival will offer a 280-mile all-electric range with room for a whole family

Audi has revealed that an all-new, all-electric family car with a 280-mile range is currently under development. Technical development boss at Audi, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg revealed that the model, which is set to rival the Tesla Model S, will arrive in 2017. 

However, it is not yet known if the upcoming electric car will join one of Audi’s existing model ranges (like the Audi A3 e-Tron, above) or be badged as a completely new model. 

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"Such a car is under development," Hackenberg told Auto Express. "I was able to reengineer the R8 e-tron project and technology with the team and we are on the way to a range of 450km (280 miles). Let’s say that technology will also be carried over and is a trailer for another car with long range. It is under development and will be in the market for around 2017 but it will not be a sports car.”  

The 280-mile range has been made achievable by Audi employing the next-generation of electric motors and batteries which feature a higher power density. Head of Powertrain Development at the Volkswagen Group, Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer revealed the electric motors are up to five times more efficient than the current motors used in models such as the e-Golf

Hackenberg remained coy on further details of the all-electric family car but it is expected to adopt a saloon style body to allow for better packaging. The larger surface area of a saloon would allow for the bigger and more powerful batteries to be stowed beneath the floor of the car so to not encroach on boot or passenger space.

Are you tempted by the prospect of an all-electric Audi? Let us know in the comments below...