We've known for sometime that Audi will launch an all-electric utility vehicle in 2018, but there has been some confusion about what it will be called.

It was widely believed that the SUV would carry the Q6 e-tron name, stemming from both its position in the Audi lineup and its use of an electrified powertrain.

But now it appears the electric SUV will be known simply as the e-tron, without the Q6 bit.

DON'T MISS: Audi e-Tron Quattro Concept: 2018 Q6 Electric Car Previewed At Frankfurt Motor Show (Sep 2015)

The use of the e-tron name without any other model designation was confirmed by Audi CEO Rupert Stadler in a recent interview with Autocar magazine.

Stadler said this format was meant to evoke the original Audi quattro, which introduced the automaker's now-famous all-wheel drive systems.

The original quattro was based on the Audi 80 coupe, but with extensive modifications to make the car competitive in the FIA World Rally Championship.

1983 Audi Quattro A2 Group B

1983 Audi Quattro A2 Group B

It's unclear whether the e-tron will share anything more than a basic platform with other models, though.

Audi will also likely continue to use the e-tron name to denote versions of existing models with electrified powertrains.

The name was introduced with the e-tron concept that debuted at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, and has subsequently appeared on a handful of concept and production models.

ALSO SEE: Audi Electric SUV To Target Tesla With LG Chem, Samsung Cells (Aug 2015)

That includes the current A3 Sportback e-tron and Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrids (the latter isn't sold in the U.S.), as well as the discontinued R8 e-tron electric car.

Audi has said the production e-tron will be heavily influenced by the e-tron quattro concept from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The concept 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 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

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

It will aim for similar performance with the production model, but a comparable U.S. EPA rating will be 20 to 30 percent lower.

MORE: Audi Q6 e-Tron Quattro Electric Car Production Site In 2018 Chosen

Audi will devote an existing factory in Brussels, Belgium, to e-tron production.

The factory currently builds the European-market A1 subcompact, but production of that model is to be moved to Martorell, Spain.

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Lithium-ion cells for the e-tron will be supplied by South Korean firms LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

The e-tron is part of a trio of Volkswagen Group luxury electric cars set to launch in the next four years or so.

The other two are the Porsche Mission E sedan and Volkswagen IQ hatchback, both of which should appear by the end of the decade.


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