The Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan hasn't been sold in the U.S. in years, but if it does return, it will have an electric powertrain.

Volkswagen's Board of Management mentioned an electric Phaeton in an announcement on the company's near-term strategy last month.

The company did not discuss a production timeline, but now a new report claims the electric Phaeton will arrive by 2020.

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The Phaeton's electric powertrain will borrow heavily from the production version of the Audi e-tron quattro concept, according to Autocar.

Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the e-tron quattro will morph into a production electric SUV in 2018.

The production version will likely be a variant of the Q6, an upcoming "crossover-coupe" similar in concept to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Sharing at least some powertrain components with the Phaeton is likely, as both models are expected to use versions of the same Volkswagen Group "MLB" architecture.

The e-tron quattro concept's powertrain consists of three electric motors: one for the front axle, and two for the rear axle, providing a total of 496 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

Power comes from a 95-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack using cells from Korean makers LG Chem and Samsung SDI. Both companies will supply cells for the production version.

ALSO SEE: Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept: 2018 Q6 Electric Car Previewed At Frankfurt Motor Show

Audi claims a range of 310 miles with moderate driving, though that figure likely uses the European NEDC test cycle, which is somewhat more optimistic than the U.S. EPA cycle.

In EPA testing, the Audi electric SUV's range rating will likely be 20 to 30 percent lower.

Using a 150-kilowatt DC fast-charging station, Audi says the e-tron quattro concept can be fully charged in as little as 50 minutes.

2011 Volkswagen Phaeton

2011 Volkswagen Phaeton

Audi will build a network of these stations for this customers to use, something Volkswagen Phaeton drivers will likely benefit from as well.

Volkswagen executives have said the Phaeton will be "redefined" to incorporate "pure electric drive with long distance capability."

VW's Brand Board of Management views the Phaeton as a technology flagship, and so believes it's important to showcase an electric powertrain in this model.

MORE: VW To Focus On Electric, Plug-In Hybrid Tech, Slash Spending Due To Diesel Scandal

But as the company continues to reel from the ongoing diesel-emissions scandal, the electric Phaeton has reportedly slipped down the list of priorities.

The next Phaeton was supposed to launch before 2020, but was pushed back as VW slashes spending on development projects, reports Autocar.

In addition to the Phaeton, Volkswagen's near-term electric-car plans include development of an "MEB Modular Toolkit" that will allow it to install electric powertrains in a wider variety of vehicles.


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