Still waiting for serious Tesla competition
Tesla Model S • 0 to 60 in 3.7 sec • 402 mi Range •$74,990*
Audi e-tron Sportback • 0 to 60 in 5.5 sec • 218 mi Range $78,990* (before tax credits)
Eight years ago, to great fanfare, Tesla launched its Model S electric vehicle. Back in 2012, the first of shapely sedans sold for apron $100,000 were quick and had an EPA range of 265-miles. And nearly a decade ago, many of us veteran auto writers were sure the legacy, global automakers would soon bring their own rivals to market. We're still waiting.
The newest counterpunch to Tesla that's actually offered for sale in the marketplace is Audi's e-tron Sportback. The new Audi carries a higher MSRP, although tax credits bring it a bit under Tesla's price. It's heavier, not as quick and the 218-mile range is competitive with Nissan's Leaf and KIA's Nero EV. Since every major automaker knows how to build electric motor systems, make aluminum vehicles and buy batteries, I'm still puzzled that Tesla hasn't faced serious competition.