And oh boy, things will get even harder to follow. Audi head honcho Ruper Stadler broke the news to Autocar, telling the British publication that the Ingolstadt-based manufacturer will use e-tron as a standalone name for an electric SUV. Yes, that electric SUV we’ve been previously referring to as the Audi Q6 e-tron. Previewed by a concept car presented at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the production version will be sold as the 2018 Audi e-tron.
To be manufactured in Brussels, Belgium, the 2018 Audi e-tron electric SUV will be powered by lithium-ion batteries. These babies are expected to be produced by Samsung SDI at a factory in Hungary. Construction of the new facility started in August 2016 and Samsung SDI hopes to start production in the second half of 2018. At first, annual production capacity will see the South Korean company's plant produce enough batteries for 50,000 EVs.
Regarding the change of heart in terms of branding, Rupert Stadler told the cited publication: “It is comparable to the first Audi quattro, which was known simply as the quattro. In the long term the name e-tron will stand for a pure electric driveline structure.” After the 2018 Audi e-tron, the German brand will debut two more pure electric models: a hatchback and a luxurious sedan.
The Audi official added that e-tron would continue to be used in combination with numerical nomenclatures. “We will have models with the usual names, for example A6 e-tron, A7 e-tron, A8 e-tron and so on,” he said.