German Giants Aiming to Checkmate Tesla? Here's Their Strategy

Sep 06, 2016 07:24 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

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Tesla might be the newest kid on the block but it has already made enough in-roads in the automotive industry to rattle even established players of the likes of Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Porsche.

Not surprisingly, the German carmakers seem to have hatched their own plans to counter Tesla. For instance, the Porsche Mission E is slated to hit production lines towards end-2020, while an all-electric SUV is also reported to be in the development stage, AutoCar stated.

While not much is known about the proposed Porsche electric SUV, its Mission E, however, does not seem to be promising enough compared to the current crop of Tesla vehicles. For instance, it too will have a range of around 300 miles and is projected to hit 60 mph in 3.5 secs.

In contrast, the Model S P100D already offers around the same range but is noticeably faster, in that it can pull off the same distance in just 2.6 secs. Even its Model X P100D does better at 2.9 seconds for the same distance. Apart from these, the Mission E is still a few years away.

Another aspect for Porsche to worry about is the characteristic engine growl of its sports cars that too has been as endearing to its followers as the cars themselves. In contrast, electric-driven cars offer a much more silent ride.

Meanwhile, Mercedes too is reported to be working on at least 6 new electric models due to be released between 2018 and 2024, Reuters reported. However, not much is known about the electric Mercs except that it would have the same range as Tesla and will be similarly priced.

Audi has also stated they intend to take on Tesla offerings with its Q6 E-Tron that is slated to hit roads by 2018. Then there is also the A9 E-Tron that will also draw on the Q6 powertrain. That means a range of around 300 miles as per the EPA test cycle, though its likely that Audi will have a higher-specced version with enhanced driving range. 

However, BMW does not seem to have an all-electric vehicle to show-off in the immediate future and has said will bolster its i3 and i8 range to take on the competition.

In contrast, Tesla already has made a head start and is offering what others plan to do several years down the line. It also offers an Autopilot system which, despite hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons now, has done enough to project the company as one that is far ahead of its peers and into the future.

As such, it remains to be seen if the famed German automakers will for once be playing catch-up or will dictate the competition that it always did.

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