AUDI announce luxury ELECTRIC car

Audi plans to show off a luxury electric crossover concept at the Frankfurt, Germany, auto show in September, with plans to manufacture a production version in 2018.

The German brand's concept, which it's calling theAudi e-tron quattro, comes as Silicon Valley automaker Tesla Motors is about a month away from delivering the first units of its Model X electric crossover. The two vehicles would be direct competitors.

The race to grab customers in the luxury electric vehicle segment intensified with Audi's announcement that its vehicle would have lithium-ion battery range of more than 310 miles.

That's slightly better than Tesla's Model S sedan, which ranges from about 240 miles to about 300 depending on the model.

Tesla has not yet revealed the electric range for its Model X crossover.

Audi said Wednesday that the e-tron quattro concept is longer than its Q5 crossover and shorter than its Q7. But it would seat only four passengers in a "coupe-like cabin," compared to five for the Model S.

It has three electric motors, with one in the front and two in the back.

Audi said it's drawing on the engineering expertise it's gleaned from the R8 e-tron sports car.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.