The Audi e-tron concept car will go into production in 2012.
The confirmation that the concept will be built was given by Audi chairman Rupert Stadler during an interview with autocar.co.uk.
"Electric power will also give Quattro more possibilities, such as powering the rear axle like in the A1 concept, or four wheels in motors like the e-tron," he said. "In fact, we want to launch a production e-tron in small volumes at the end of 2012."
At 4.26m long and 1.9m wide, the e-tron is shorter and wider than a Boxster.
It's not clear if it will be built as a stand-alone model or with its technology applied to an existing or new model. Its existence suggests the possibility, after VW’s takeover of Porsche, that a platform-sharing deal with Audi is imminent, and that a compact two-seater is another potential outcome.
Because the e-tron’s electric powertrain is clothed in a sports car shape, it has also been suggested that it shows Audi’s intention to introduce an electric powertrain from the top of its range downwards.