Audi’s First Production Series EV to be called the "E-Tron"
Hybrid models will also use the nameby Ciprian Florea, on
German automaker Audi has confirmed that its future series production electric cars will use the name "e-tron." The news comes straight from Audi chairman Rupert Stadler, who added that the moniker will be carried without any specific model designation.
"It is comparable to the first Audi quattro, which was known simply as the quattro," Stadler said according to Autocar, adding that "in the long term the name e-tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure."
On the other hand, he said that regular models will continue to use the e-tron name. Audi currently offers e-tron versions of the Q7 SUV and A3 Sportback five-door, but these have hybrid drivetrains that combine conventional engines and electric motors. As you may recall, the German brand pulled the plug on the R8 e-tron, the only e-tron with a pure electric drivetrain, after less than two years on the market and less than 100 units built.
Stadler confirmed once again that the first vehicle to wear the "e-tron" badge will be an SUV based on the e-tron quattro concept that was showcased at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The battery-powered people hauler will be followed by a small hatchback and a sedan by the end of the 2020.
At the same time, he said that Audi is working on a premium electric sedan aimed at the Tesla Model S: "I do believe that it makes sense for the Audi brand to be positioned in the top premium segment with this drivelinetechnology." Although a name has yet to be confirmed, it could be called the A8 e-tron.
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Why it Matters?
While using the "e-tron" name only as a move to evoke the naming of the original quattro model launched back in 1980 is a great idea as far as marketing goes, but the new strategy could be very confusing for customers. Minaly because the e-tron name is already being used for hybrid models, concept cars, and the all-electric version of the R8 supercar. In the future, it will also be used for fully electric production models. This means that dealerships will sell both electric and hybrid e-trons. Granted, the latter will also bear the names of Audi’s usual models — like Q7 e-tron and A6 e-tron — but it could be confusing to customers that aren’t very familiar with the company’s naming strategy. On the other hand, 2020 is still a few years away and maybe Audi will come up with a different moniker for its hybrid cars.
Read our full review of the 2015 Audi E-Tron Quattro Concept here.