Electrification in the luxury segment is starting to take off, and Audi has plans to produce at least four different plug-in hybrid models to take on its rivals.
The A3 Sportback E-Tron is the first plug-in vehicle coming from Audi, which will launch in Europe this month while U.S. sales are expected to begin in the second or third quarter of 2015. This little hatchback will take on BMW’s new i3 plug-in hybrid, but Audi isn’t stopping there.
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Rupert Stadler, Audi’s CEO, says that the brand has plans to introduce at least three more new plug-in hybrid models. “We strongly believe in plug-in hybrids and we will add a new model each year, beginning with the Q7 next year, followed by the A6 long-wheelbase sedan for China and the A8,” Stadler said.
Audi is also planning on bringing out a fully electric version of the R8 supercar, though the brand favors plug-in vehicles because they are more versatile with the lack of range anxiety. For example, the A3 E-Tron can travel 30 miles on electricity alone, though the car has an overall range of 373 miles.
“Plug-in hybrids could account for 10 percent to 20 percent, even 40 percent of the 2 million units we plan to build annually by 2020. It will be our customers who decide, and we are ready to satisfy their demand,” he said.
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[Source: Automotive News]
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