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Audi gearing up to take on Tesla with 4-WD electric sedan

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 01 September 2016

THE UK’s Autocar reports that Audi will put a four-wheel-drive electric sedan rivaling the Tesla Model S into production.

Perhaps to be called the A9 e-tron, the car will share much of its technology with the upcoming e-tron quattro SUV (main pic), including the advanced torque vectoring capabilities.

The vehicle will have a range of up to 500 km, and reportedly will offer Level 4 autonomous driving technology—one step up from that used in next year’s new A8.

Audi R&D boss Stefan Knirsch said he is confident the new electric saloon will deliver a unique driving experience through the use of electric motors and a power electronics package that Audi is developing.

Knirsch said: “Some rivals have gone for a synchronous motor with a high power density but at relatively low revs. There are also asynchronous motors that typically achieve similar power outputs but at much higher revs. From 2018, our electric cars will be equipped with asynchronous motors. We are convinced they offer higher efficiency levels than synchronous motors.”