Mercedes to show all-electric hatchback concept this fall, countering Audi: report

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Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

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German luxury carmakers often follow each other's product plans in something close to lockstep.

Let one maker—BMW, say—introduce a new category of vehicle—sport utility "coupes," say—and soon Mercedes-Benz and Audi will have their own too.

And the premium brands appear to be following the same playbook for the expanding lineups of long-range electric cars they will start rolling out next year.

DON'T MISS: Mercedes previews new electric car lineup with Generation EQ concept

It's become clear that Audi, the luxury brand of VW Group, will launch the production version of the e-tron all-electric crossover utility vehicle sometime next year, likely as a 2019 model.

It will be followed by the e-tron Sportback in 2019, essentially a lower and somewhat racier version of the same car.

Then, in 2020, the third all-electric Audi will be a compact hatchback about the size of its current A3 e-tron Sportback plug-in hybrid.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Enlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Enlarge Photo
Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ Concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Enlarge Photo

Now, it seems Mercedes-Benz is planning a similar lineup, according to a report in the British outlet Autocar.

The company is said to be planning to show a concept version of an all-electric hatchback at this fall's Frankfurt auto show.

To be called the EQ A, it's an entry-level electric car thought to be slated for production in 2020, a year after Mercedes' first all-electric model hits the road.

READ THIS: After Audi e-tron, next electric car to be compact BMW i3 competitor

It's already known that Daimler's luxury automaking unit will put into production the all-electric EQ crossover utility vehicle it showed as a concept last fall at the Paris auto show.

Likely hitting the roads in 2019, that vehicle will face off almost directly against the Audi e-tron coming next year—and against the Jaguar I-Pace electric crossover coming next year as well.

Both of those vehicles, of course, compete against the electric Tesla Model X that's been rolling off the lines in Fremont, California, since late 2015.

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Mercedes-Benz Generation EQ concept, 2016 Paris auto show

Enlarge Photo

The plans of the third member of the German trio, BMW, remain unclear.

It was the first of the three to launch a battery-electric car, with its small i3 hatchback in 2013, but now it appears to be focusing on an all-electric version of the next generation of its 3-Series sport sedan, along with plug-in hybrid variants of virtually every volume model in its lineup.

CHECK OUT: Mercedes to launch 10 electric cars by 2025 under EQ sub-brand

The smaller Mercedes electric hatchback, meanwhile, will be built on the company's upcoming Modular Electric Architecture, which also underpins the EQ C crossover.

Both vehicles will feature conventional proportions, with a traditional hood despite the lack of an engine underneath—a different approach than that taken by Jaguar, whose I-Pace has a shorter hood and a longer passenger compartment.

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