Audi e-tron GT electric "super sedan" to challenge Tesla Model S

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Teaser for Audi e-tron GT

Teaser for Audi e-tron GT

First came the Tesla Model S, followed by the Model X.

Then Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz rolled out their plans for single long-range electric luxury models to compete with Tesla.

Now, the Germans are teasing their plans for further electric cars aimed at Tesla, with the Audi Sport e-tron GT the latest to be announced.

DON'T MISS: Audi e-tron electric SUV appears in camouflage at Geneva show, on city roads

Revealed in a single concept sketch on Thursday during Audi's annual media briefing in Ingolstadt, Germany, the e-tron GT seemingly targets the Tesla Model S long-range electric hatchback sedan.

The first electric car from VW Group's premium brand will be the 2019 Audi e-tron electric crossover utility vehicle, to be launched later this year and in dealers before December 31.

The much lower, sleeker e-tron GT won't follow immediately, but is likely to arrive in the early years of the 2020s.

Audi of America president Scot Keogh with Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Los Angeles auto show

Audi of America president Scot Keogh with Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Los Angeles auto show

2019 Audi e-tron prototype

2019 Audi e-tron prototype

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Audi e-tron quattro concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

We know the second Audi e-tron battery-electric model is likely to be a compact five-door hatchback similar in size to the current A3 e-tron plug-in hybrid.

That second car will likely sell in higher volumes, but clearly Audi feels the e-tron range of all-electric vehicles has to include high-end competitors for both of Tesla's more expensive models.

At Audi's press briefing, the e-tron GT was presented as a future product specifically from the performance-oriented Audi Sport sub-brand.

READ THIS: After Audi e-tron, next electric car to be compact BMW i3 competitor (Mar 2017)

The company also said it will be built at the Böllinger Höfe specialist plant that now assembles the Audi R8 supercar.

That suggests the future Audi e-tron GT may be low in volume but high in performance.

Last August, then-head of Audi Sport Stefan Winkelman had suggested the sub-brand would have its own electric car with coupe styling, whether an SUV or a sedan. The rendering seems to show the decision came down on the side of a sedan.

Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concept

Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo concept

Porsche Mission E concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Porsche Mission E concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Porsche Mission E concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Porsche Mission E concept, 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

Given the competition among brands within the sprawling and highly political Volkswagen Group, it's clear Audi gets the first electric SUV (the 2019 e-tron), then Porsche gets the first electric sport sedan (the Mission E due for 2020).

Only after the Porsche has launched, we suspect, will Audi be permitted to offer its own all-electric sporty sedan—just as the Porsche Mission E Sport Turismo electric crossover in turn will follow the Audi e-tron SUV.

Audi didn't say much else about the car, nor did it specify which set of all-electric underpinnings it will use.

CHECK OUT: One-Quarter Of All Audis To Be Electric In 10 Years, Company Says (Nov 2015)

The e-tron rides on an adaptation of Audi's MLB architecture for gasoline cars, called MLB-Evo, while the Porsche Mission E rides on a dedicated platform called P1.

Future larger, higher-performance battery-electric models from VW Group's higher-end brands will ride on a shared architecture known as PPE.

Porsche executives told Green Car Reports last week that PPE component set drew elements from both the MLB-Evo and P1 platforms, but also had several redesigned elements to reflect faster-than-expected improvements in battery capacity and other electric-drive components.

 
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