prospects Audi relies on a lot of luxury and high margins
Audi increasingly sees its future in premium electric models. The manufacturer has a very special stromer up its sleeve for China.
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Audi’s announcement that it will not be developing successors to the compact A1 and Q2 models and at the same time presenting a study of an all-electric luxury sedan like the Grandsphere shows quite clearly the path the brand intends to take within the VW Group: plenty of luxury and high margins.
Electrification is the absolute priority, especially in the upper parts of vehicles. This dashed hopes for an innovative city electric car, like BMW colleagues still on the road with the i3. Drafts of this kind are not heard in meeting rooms, although there is a suitable platform for them (MEB entry). It is currently being developed by Cupra in Spain.
Small Car: ‘Very little profit’
What Ingolstadt says there is no feasibility study, and very little profit. For now, the Q4 E-Tron should be the entry point into Audi’s electrified world. The mid-range SUV sold more than 20,000 units last year. In all, Audi was able to sell more than 80,000 battery-electric models in 2021, an increase of 57 percent over the previous year.
The car manufacturer is taking 2022 with relative calm. The introduction of a new model is not planned. However, the A3 will be available in an all-terrain version, without necessarily having to use the quattro drive system. The brand’s first two electric SUVs will be modified, the E-Tron and the E-Tron Sportback. It includes a larger range, some visual revisions and new names: Q8 E-Tron and Q8 E-Tron Sportback. This should put an end to the confusion in naming.
2023: Q6 E-Tron debuts
For 2023, the Q6 E-Tron makes its debut in the New Products Program. Located just below the Q8 E-Tron, the SUV is the first Audi model to be based on the PPE architecture developed in tandem with Porsche’s premium electric platform. The Q6 E-Tron is the sister model to the next Macan-E and will be equipped with an 800-volt system. The higher voltage allows for extremely short charging times.
Audi will follow the Q6 E-Tron with the Sportback version in the same year and will also introduce the first derivative of the flatbed PPE, the A6 E-Tron. The sedan was already available as a study in 2021. The production version will only be available in 2024 and will look only marginally different and will be called the Sportback due to its five-door coupe look.
A few weeks ago, a study of the A6 E-Tron Avant showed how articulate Head of Design Marc Lichte his motto is “Flat is the new premium” when it comes to battery-powered cars. The Strom-Kombi – the first from a German automaker – should lead to a significant rise in incoming orders if it comes to market in 2024. The proportions, style, performance and range are top.
2024: A4 series renewal
A revamp of the A4 series is also scheduled for 2024. It will continue to be based on the MLB-Evo platform and will have both petrol and diesel engines under the hood. Of course, these are electrified across the board, such as light hybrid or plug-in hybrid cars.
Since the A4 in Europe says goodbye to the rear hatch and leans more in the direction of the coupe, the A5 falls to the side of the road in this case. Later, perhaps not until 2026, the A4 will also be available in a battery electric version, which will then be based on the PPE architecture.
A look at China reveals how Audi is pushing its model policy in the direction of space and luxury. A few weeks ago, the manufacturer unveiled the Urbansphere study out there, a 5.50-meter electric luxury truck with a massive interior.
However, Europeans get nothing. The “Space Shuttle” from Audi is intended exclusively for Chinese customers, especially for those who want to make good use of time lost in daily huge traffic jams – sleeping, working or watching TV.