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Shanghai show: Audi to electrify with e-tron concept

Two teaser videos released by Audi signal the next addition to its EV line-up

17 Apr 2017

AUDI will unveil its newest electrified showcar at the Shanghai motor show this week, with a pair of teasers also revealing an advanced application of LED technology to the concept's headlights and tail-lights.

The initial 17-second video released by the German manufacturer flashes an e-tron badge – a moniker reserved for its petrol-electric hybrid and full electric vehicle (EV) models including the plug-in A3 and Q7, as well as the e-tron quattro SUV concept from the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.

Furthermore, Audi is using the hashtag #chargedwithexcitement to promote the debut of its latest showcar on various social media channels, again foreshadowing that the Shanghai concept will feature electrification in some form.

While the body style of the showcar is shrouded in darkness, the video of the rear-end does reveal what is seemingly a traditional boot-lid – which suggests a sedan, coupe or crossover-style SUV is likely.

Another possibility is a BMW i3 rival that the car-maker is known to have on the cards, as confirmed by Audi chairman of the board of management Rupert Stadler at the Geneva motor show last month.

“We will surprise you hopefully during 2017. And then, of course, our mission is in the compact segment to have a battery-electric vehicle. Maybe this one does not need 500km range. Maybe we can work with 400, 450,” he said.

“Maybe there is different packages which we can offer in terms of range and here we are working very close together with Volkswagen guys on the MEV (modular electric vehicle) platform.”

Exact powertrain details remain scarce, but either an all-electric or plug-in hybrid set-up remains possible for this concept.

Both teasers flaunt an array of LED trickery at the front and rear, highlighted by an illuminated version of brand's iconic four-ring logo.

Progressive indicators – which are now employed by several Audi models – feature yet again, but the intricacy of the headlight and tail-light animations – including a twirling effect – are no less impressive in their latest iteration.

A horizontal strip of LEDs – which spans the length of the boot-lid and links the tail-lights together – can be seen in the follow-up 13-second teaser.

Slated to be the third electrified Audi showcar this year, it will join the Q8 concept that was displayed at the Detroit show in January and the Q8 Sport concept from March's Geneva event.

As previously reported by GoAuto, Audi AG announced last year that 25 to 30 per cent of its total global sales are forecasted to be made up of EVs by 2025.

After initially entering the Australian EV market with the A3 e-tron, the local arm has faced an uphill battle thanks to public range anxiety and a lack of federal government support for green incentives, which resulted in only 100 units being sold in its first full year on-sale.

More details on Audi's next showcar will be revealed in Shanghai on April 18.

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