Audi plots new-era luxury EV

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Four-door coupé is set to showcase premium platform co-developed with Porsche


The first Audi model to be built on the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture the firm is developing with Porsche is set to be a low-slung A5 Sportbacksized four-door coupé.


Four-door coupé is set to showcase premium platform co-developed with Porsche
Four-door coupé is set to showcase premium platform co-developed with Porsche

The dramatic new model, first reported by Autocar in March, is previewed in images released by the German company showcasing its electric car strategy, which includes the launch of 20 EVs using four different platforms by 2025.

The PPE platform is designed for Audi and Porsche’s full-size luxury models – both traditional cars and SUVs – and can be adapted for models of different lengths and track width. It features an 800V system capable of 350kW charging, and can accept different sizes of battery – with the larger offering a claimed range of more than 300 miles.

The platform has been designed with a rear-mounted motor as standard, with the possibility to add a second electric motor on the front axle offering all-wheel drive. The architecture can also accept systems such as torque vectoring and all-wheel steering that don’t feature on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, on which Audi is also developing models.

Audi hasn’t given performance details of the new PPE platform, but says it is “generally similar to that of the MEB”.

The new four-door coupé previewed by the firm is roughly A4-sized, with styling similar to the swooping A7 Sportback, and a front grille and bumper design that echoes the E-tron GT. Audi wouldn’t confirm that it will reach production in this form with the PPE platform, although designer Parys Cybulski said the brief was for it to be a “statement”.

He added that the model was still in the early design stages, and that it “could be the most important car on this platform”, because it would help show the direction future models could take.

The company said PPE cars would start to be produced from early in the next decade, with the Sportback model set to be a showcase for the architecture, which has been developed to cover the “upper medium-size class to the luxury class”. It will be used as the basis for crossovers, SUVs, Sportback models and estates. That suggests it will eventually be used for EV equivalents of higher-level models such as the A6 Avant, A7 Sportback, A8, Q7 and Q8.

The PPE models will be joined by cars built on three other EV platforms. The already launched E-tron uses a modified version of the MLB Evo platform. An E-tron Sportback will be launched soon, and Audi has hinted a third variant could follow, although they were tight-lipped on what form it would take.

The forthcoming E-tron GT will be a sibling car to the Porsche Taycan, using that firm’s J1 architecture designed for high-performance models. Audi will develop high-volume models on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, which is also being used by VW, Seat and Skoda. Audi’s first MEB model, due in 2020, will be the Q4 E-tron.

New A4-sized car could point the way to future Audis. Preview images hint at A7 Sportback and E-tron GT styling. ‘Statement’ model would be first Audi on PPE architecture.


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