In a city where Teslas are a common sight — and just a few minutes from the factory where Elon Musk’s company is cranking out a record number of electric vehicles — Audi rolled out an all-electric SUV it hopes will cut into Tesla’s dominance of the luxury EV market.
Audi’s new e-tron, which hits the market next spring, has been heralded as a game changer by leaders of the German automaker. Audi is not disclosing the e-tron’s range, but it’s expected to be competitive with Tesla’s vehicles, which all get more than 295 miles when fully charged. Add in styling that has helped Audi attract a growing percentage of upscale buyers in the U.S., and it’s clear the e-tron is taking full aim at Tesla.
The SUV, which will go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, will carry a base price of $74,800, with the highest trim level starting at $86,700. For $1,000, buyers can reserve one, and be among the first to get it when deliveries start in the second quarter of next year.
Drivers of the e-tron will be able to get an 80 percent charge in about a half hour at public high-speed charging stations. Audi is partnering with Amazon to offer in-home EV charging installations.
Still, the question for many is whether the E-tron will successfully challenge Tesla’s dominance of the luxury EV market. The vehicle kicks off a wave of new challengers into the market.