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We Hear: Slew of German EVs Will Battle Tesla Model S

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/13/2014 Kelly Pleskot
We Hear: Slew of German EVs Will Battle Tesla Model S

Although it debuted back in June 2012, the Tesla Model S still seems to get all the attention when it comes to electric vehicles. But, according to our colleagues at AUTOMOBILE, a flood of German electric luxury cars will arrive to challenge Tesla's dominance starting in 2018.

Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche are all plotting an electric offensive with models ranging in price from just below the Model S to over $125,000, reports AUTOMOBILE. We can expect to see the first models as early as the 2015 Frankfurt auto show.

2014 Tesla Model S© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Tesla Model S

One of the first German EVs to hit the market will be a four-door model from BMW positioned directly against the Model S. Based on the long-wheelbase 5 Series currently sold in China, the luxury sedan will be branded under the "i" name. While it is technically considered a plug-in hybrid, the BMW is perhaps better classified as an EV with a strong range-extender, and should travel on pure electricity for up to 80 miles. Asking price? Just under $100,000.

Porsche, which already offers a plug-in Panamera, is considering a stand-alone EV model to add to its portfolio. The model, possibly to be called the 717, will slot in the vague area between the luxury-minded Panamera and exotic 918 Spyder. Unlike the Tesla, which features a large battery pack in the floor, the 717 would cram over 100 small batteries into pockets of the car where there is extra space, including the center tunnel, doorsills, and even the footwells and overhangs. Three different power levels -- from 400, 500, and 600 hp -- are under consideration.

2014 Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid

A few German SUVs may threaten to overtake the hype surrounding Tesla's upcoming Model X. Audi is reportedly cooking up a Q5-based crossover coupe with three drivetrains ranging from 300 hp to 500 hp. The model should range between $80,000 and $100,000. But perhaps it's Mercedes-Benz that gets the prize for the most ambitious endeavor, as it is planning an entire family of EVs. This pack will include a GL-size utility coupe, a stretched E-Class-style car with three rows of seating, in addition to a typical EV sedan and crossover. These models should come out between 2019 and 2021.

For more on what to expect from Tesla, Audi, Porsche, and BMW in the coming years, head over to AUTOMOBILE.

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