You have to give Audi credit. When they decide to do something, they go all in. It was just last fall that they showed off the e-Tron, their electric supercar based on the R8 sports coupe.
Now, we learn that there will be a range of e-Trons offered, though in small numbers. As we noted last week, Audi hopes to make the e-Tron name as distinctive and powerful as its famous Quattro all-wheel-drive brand.
Audi R8 e-Tron Los Angeles 2009
Audi e-tron Concept for 2010 Detroit Auto Show
To do that, the company will offer at least two e-Tron sports cars: the larger one, based on the R8, which was shown as a concept at the Frankfurt and Los Angeles auto shows, and a smaller one, based on the upcoming R4, shown as a concept at the Detroit Auto Show.
And there may be more. An Audi executive told industry trade journal Automotive News that there could be "two or three or even more" electric vehicles from the German brand.
They'll be built in small numbers at first, though, by a new division Audi has set up specifically to design and manufacture electric cars. That unit has more than 100 employees and is run by a senior vice president of vehicle electrification.
The first e-Tron will be the most expensive car Audi sells, however, meaning more than $150,000. That puts it at a far higher price than the 2010 Tesla Roadster Sport, which starts below $125,000 (before buyers start ticking boxes on the options list).
The e-Tron range will be one of several upcoming greener Audi vehicles that will take the company's lineup into subcompacts, hybrids, and lighter-weight cars with smaller, more powerful gasoline and diesel engines.
So now the guessing game begins. What will Audi's third electric e-Tron be? Give us your thoughts in the Comments below ....
[Automotive News (subscription required) ]