Audi expects electric vehicles to account for half of the world’s premium car sales by 2030. Filing up higher segments with EVs such as the e-tron and e-tron GT where adoption is quicker is the first step. However, it has to consider converting compact and midsize cars that churn high volumes into EVs or introduce bespoke EVs in lower segments to prepare for the highly electric future. In the A4’s case, the company will reportedly take the second route of releasing a dedicated EV.
Auto Express asked Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi, if the company plans to sell an all-electric A4 alongside the ICE next-gen A4. Hoffmann neither confirmed nor denied that such a plan exists. He suggested that whenever the company launches an all-electric A4, it will build it from the ground up on a dedicated EV platform. The R&D boss said that the company can develop and make bespoke platforms for most technologies and that it has considered a multi-energy (ICE-BEV) platform, but it’s a compromise.
Audi insiders in Ingolstadt, Audi’s base, told Autocar that the next-gen A4 would include a pure electric variant developed on another platform. Audi will carry over the MLB for the mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants and tap the bespoke PPE platform for the A4 EV. The company is developing the dedicated electric vehicle platform with Porsche to be used by both brands.
The Audi A6 e-tron concept car debuted the PPE platform in April 2021. According to the British publication, the Audi A4 e-tron’s PPE platform will mostly use the same structure as the A6 e-tron (Audi E6), but with a shorter wheelbase and narrower tracks. Officially, the PPE platform can deliver cars with up to more than 700 km of WLTP range, and, thanks to a standard system voltage of 800 V, up to 270 kW of charging rate. The first two cars of the PPE platform are the Audi Q6 e-tron and the Porsche Macan EV, both scheduled to be revealed in 2022. Audi and Porsche plan to sell 7 million electric cars based on the PPE platform by 2030.
The Audi A4 e-tron is likely to have an A5 Sportback-style five-door layout with a liftgate-style rear. In addition, the Audi A4 electric’s key features may include adaptive air suspension, Level 2 autonomous driving, and contactless in-car payments for charging, parking, drive-through food orders, tolls.
Like most luxury EVs on sale, the Audi A4 e-tron will come in single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive (Quattro) configurations. An Audi RS 4 e-tron with up to 496 bhp and 590 lb.-ft. will top the range. There’s no word on the battery pack options or the range. However, Audi is targeting a range of about 700 km (WLTP) in the A6 e-tron, expect a maximum range of 550-600 km (WLTP) in the A6 e-tron.
ICE next-gen Audi A4
Audi has started testing the ICE next-gen A4 in Europe. The company is testing the sixth-gen model initially in the Avant version, which is popular mainly in Europe. Early prototypes indicate that the all-new car will feature an evolutionary design. They’ve shown a low and wide hexagonal Singleframe grille, A-shaped lower grille, more strongly-angled wedge-shaped headlamps, vertical air inlets, and a slightly more rakish roofline. We’ll get a final picture of the exterior as the development progresses, probably in the second half of 2022. Sales are unlikely to begin before 2023, though.
Volkswagen Group plans to produce up to around seven million vehicles on the PPE platform by 2030. Core models such as Audi A4 e-tron and the Model S-rivaling Audi A6 e-tron must have a significant contribution to this target. The A6 e-tron will debut in 2023, and the A4 e-tron will reportedly follow in 2024.
Audi A4 e-tron FAQs
What is the release date of the Audi A4 e-tron
Autocar UK has reported that the Audi A4 electric debuts in 2024, a year after the next-gen A4 combustion models hit the market.
Which are the core competitors to the Audi E4?
The Tesla Model 3 is by far the strongest rival for the upcoming Audi electric car. The BMW 3 Series EV arriving around 2025 is another.
What is the expected price of the Audi A4 e-tron?
Expect the Audi A4 e-tron to start at around the EUR 37,000.
Featured image: Audi (A6 e-tron teaser, used as an illustration)