Audi e-tron vs Jaguar I-Pace vs Mercedes EQ: electric luxury SUVs compared


Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

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After sales of 150,000 or more electric luxury cars from Tesla Motors over four years, the first major wave of long-range electric cars from established luxury automakers is now on the way.

So far, it seems the first of these vehicles will not be sedans that compete with the Tesla Model S, but crossovers apparently targeting the Silicon Valley automaker's Model X.

Over the past year, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz have all unveiled concepts for electric crossover utility vehicles at major auto shows.

DON'T MISS: Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV concept breaks cover at LA Auto Show

All three preview future production models, but none of these electric luxury SUVs will start production until at least 2018, however.

In the meantime, here's what we can expect based on the recent crop of concepts.

Audi e-tron Quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron Quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

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Audi e-tron

Audi was the first of the trio to commit to an electric SUV, confirming plans for a 2018 launch even before its e-tron quattro concept debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The production version will be called simply e-tron, a format meant to reference the original Audi quattro, which introduced the automaker's now-famous all-wheel drive systems.

ALSO SEE: Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept: 2018 Electric Car Previewed At Frankfurt Motor Show (Sep 2015)

Powertrain components and much of the styling from the e-tron quattro concept will likely translate to the e-tron production model.

The concept followed the current trend of "crossover coupes," with a low roofline combined with more traditional SUV styling elements.

It had a 95-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack and three electric motors—one at the front, two at the rear—providing a total of 369 kilowatts (496 horsepower) and 590 lb-ft of torque.

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

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Audi claimed a range of 310 miles for the concept, albeit on the highly-optimistic European testing cycle.

A comparable U.S. EPA range rating will likely be as much as 30 percent lower.

Audi also claimed the e-tron quattro concept could do 0 to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, with a top speed limited to 130 mph.

MORE: Mercedes previews new electric car lineup with Generation EQ concept

Lithium-ion battery cells will be supplied by South Korean firms LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

The car will be built at an existing Audi plant in Brussels.

Audi has also indicated it will build a network of DC fast-charging stations for e-tron owners, with 150-kW charging capability, although details as to how this will be accomplished in the U.S. remain undisclosed.

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

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Jaguar I-Pace

Previewed by a concept at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Jaguar I-Pace will also go into production in 2018, within months of the Audi e-tron's launch.

The production version is expected to look similar to the concept, meaning it will have fairly dramatic styling that marks a major departure from SUV orthodoxy.

At the L.A. show, Jaguar design boss said the I-Pace, which features a cab-forward design and muscular bulges around the wheel arches, was inspired by the Jaguar C-X75 supercar from 2010, which ultimately never made it to production.

Underneath the floor of the concept sits a 90-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with cells from LG Chem, that Jaguar says will provide a 220-mile range on the EPA test cycle.

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

Jaguar I-Pace Concept, 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show

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The I-Pace is powered by a pair of electric motors—one for each axle—that produce 150 kW (200 hp) and 258 lb-ft of torque apiece, according to Jaguar.

Jaguar also claims 0 to 60 mph acceleration of around 4.0 seconds.

The I-Pace will come standard with DC fast charging, using the CCS protocol.

Jaguar will contract out its assembly to Austrian firm Magna Steyr, which will start building the electric SUV in March or April 2018.


 
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