Audi Adds Electric Luxury Coupe as Tesla Upgrades Model S

Audi expects the U.S. to be the largest market for its new electric four-door coupe, one of the most powerful cars Volkswagen AG’s premium brand has ever built. It offers slightly less-blazing acceleration than Tesla Inc.’s latest flagship sedan, the Plaid version of the Model S, which Elon Musk has promoted to those seeking speed beyond “ludicrous” mode.

“The car is predestined for the U.S. market,” Audi’s global sales chief Hildegard Wortmann told reporters in a webcast. She expects North America to account for a sales share of “50% plus,” followed by Europe and Asian markets including China, South Korea and Japan.

Flanking the e-tron SUV with a niche sportscar like the GT is intended to showcase Audi’s latest design and technology rather than boosting EV volumes, she said. Annual deliveries of the GT will probably be just below 10,000 cars. Audi will introduce its next high-volume EV—a compact crossover dubbed Q4 e-tron—later this year. 

In a follow-up interview, Wortmann clarifies the point is more about communicating a progressive mindset than pure performance: “It’s that you want to do something good, you want to contribute to the solution. With the e-tron GT our customers can see this holistic picture of what the Audi brand stands for.”