If the rumors are accurate, the battery-powered Q3 will be Audi's first mass-produced EV.
The next generation of the Q3 crossover could be Audi's first full-production electric vehicle.
British magazine Auto Express has learned the German brand is developing a battery-powered version of the next-gen Q3 fitted with the same drivetrain found in the Volkswagen e-Golf. That means power will be provided by a 35.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that zaps the front wheels through a compact electric motor.
The recently-revised 2017 e-Golf is capable of driving for up to 124 miles on a single charge, and it hits 60 mph from a standstill in 9.6 seconds. Audi could tweak the drivetrain to improve both figures. The optional quick charger that gives the e-Golf an 80-percent charge in under an hour will most likely come standard on the Q3.
Insiders explain fitting the next Q3 with the e-Golf's drivetrain is a relatively straight-forward and cost-effective process because the crossover will shift to Volkswagen's modular MQB platform. The architecture will also make it lighter than the current model and sharper to drive.
The next-generation Audi Q3 will debut either late next year or in early 2018, so we might not see it on our shores until the 2019 model year. If the rumors of an electric model are true, it will fight in the same segment as Tesla's long-rumored, Model 3-based compact crossover.
Note: Audi RS Q3 performance pictured.