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When it comes to electric drive automobiles and hybrids, a new product launch schedule believed leaked from Audi of America suggests Ingolstadt plans to expand its electric margin aggressively over the next few years. Specifically, this will include a Q7 e-tron and the proposed C-BEV.
Those watching Audi lexicon know that the e-tron branding can be a broad brush in the silo of electric mobility. Though it hasn’t included hybrid models like the lackluster Q5 2.0 TFSI hybrid, it does include the more successful plug-in hybrid variety like the A3 Sportback e-tron that was launched in the U.S. market late last year. It also includes full-electric models like the upcoming R8 e-tron that isn’t set for U.S. sale… at least last time we checked.
The next electric up for the USA is the Q7 e-tron. Seen on the map with a planned launch in October of 2017, this model is expected to be a plug-in hybrid. Audi builds both a 3.0 TDI e-tron for Europe and a 2.0 TFSI e-tron for China. While the Q7 appears to be getting both 2.0 TFSI and 3.0 TDI non-hybrid variants in the USA, we expect them to choose just one of these to be paired with e-tron. If we had to guess, we’d guess 2.0 TFSI in order to keep costs in check.
Next up is the so-called C-BEV. That’s not a marketing name, but an operating name denoting C-segment Battery Electric Vehicle and operating as placeholder until Audi reveals the car’s model designation. We’re guessing the car will be called Q6 e-tron based on previous rumors. Like last year’s e-tron quattro concept car, we know the C-BEV will be full electric, with no gas engine as range extender. In as much, it’ll have significantly more batteries and greater full-electric range than its plug-in hybrid counterparts within the lineup.
Not surprisingly, the production C-BEV will also look a lot like the e-tron quattro concept. Before he left, Audi’s former development boss Dr. Ullrich Hackenberg told us the actual car will be slightly taller than the concept car, giving it the stature more of a crossover than an Avant.
The aforementioned product map places C-BEV in the US market sometime in 2018. In as much, we’d expect it to show up in Europe sometime next year.