Audi expects tough year amid model changes

The Audi factory at Neckarsulm

The Audi e-tron GT has been previewed at Audi's annual press conference as a new electric saloon vehicle planned for 2020 and aimed directly at the Tesla Model S.

This Audi e-tron GT will be built on the same EV platform as the Porsche Mission E, called the J1 platform, something that Stadler claims significantly reduces cost.

While it might be awhile, as we've heard that Audi Sport was going to be taking a slow approach to electrification, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler feels EVs are necessary for the future of the brand.

Audi will start building the e-Tron GT at the Böllinger Höfe site near Neckarsulm in early 2020.

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Announced at Audi's annual press conference today, the e-tron GT looks aimed squarely at the Tesla Model S, with Audi promising it will arrive in production guise by 2020, will be "highly dynamic" and be the brand's first "Audi Sport" BEV. Audi now builds the R8 supercar at the site, which opened in 2014. The model offensive, also including the overhauled Q3 compact SUV, is expected to have a "sustained positive impact" on deliveries and earnings from 2019, Audi said. "It proves that electric drive can also deliver high performance", he added.

Audi expects a hard year as the launch of over 20 redesigned and new models could hurt deliveries, after declining sales of high-end models and further costs from an emissions scandal kept profitability below that of Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

While there are no specs or official information about the actual auto itself, we know that it will be a high-performance, four-door vehicle to compete with the Tesla Model S, Porsche Mission E and BMW i4. Audi confirmed its starting price as around 80,000 euros, or a little under $100,000; however, this is likely to be the European price.

Stadler promised that by 2025 Audi would offer about 20 electrified models, more than half of them will be full-electric vehicles.

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