The all-electric SUV will have a range over 300 miles and should enter production in 2018.

We’ve seen Audi’s soon-to-come all-electric crossover testing off-and-on over the last year or so, but these are some of the clearest spy photos of the lot. This time the E-Tron Quattro is spied navigating sparsely populated streets, though we suspect it’s under full driver control since we don't see any curious components up front that could be tied to autonomous functionality. 

In fact, this prototype seems surprisingly free of external gadgets, antennas, boxes, or other sensors that might suggest in-depth evaluation is still taking place. This could mean we’re getting closer to a reveal.

There’s no question that, in addition to offering an all-electric crossover, Audi is also interested in injecting the E-Tron with some measure of fun. With the Tesla Model X being its primary competition, the car maker will pack a 95kWh battery pack into the SUV to give it an estimated range of over 300 miles.

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Audi E-Tron Spy Photo
Audi E-Tron Spy Photo

That is, provided drivers are judicious with the E-Tron’s accelerator pedal. That’s because it will sport two electric motors at the rear and one driving both front wheels, producing a combined power rating of 435bhp. Or, if drivers need a little extra punch, more electricity can be injected to deliver 503bhp.

We don’t know how that will translate specifically to acceleration given what’s sure to be a rather portly vehicle, but 435bhp should be enough to make this mid-size people mover plenty exciting, never mind tapping into the temporary power.

Audi is embarking on an aggressive electric path amid its Dieselgate woes. A smattering of E-Tron vehicles are in the works, with the Quattro being followed by a Sportback version and eventually a saloon. It will all kick off, however, with this E-Tron Quattro, which is slated to begin production next year.

As for when we can expect an official reveal, it could happen as early as next month at the Detroit motor show, though later in the year seems more likely.

Gallery: Audi E-Tron Spy Photos

Photo by: CarPix