Audi to launch over 20 new cars by 2026 in major product push
As it shifts towards an all-electric line-up, Audi is gearing up to launch a vast array of new models within the next three years.
We’ve seen the concepts, studied the tech, and now it’s show time for the folks at Ingolstadt. Audi has been hinting at its new-generation electric cars with numerous concept cars - from the A6 e-tron to the newly unveiled Activesphere - and in the next few years, we’ll see these ideas reach showrooms as part of the brand’s most ambitious product launch plan yet.
The next few years will be transitional for Audi as it steps towards full electrification, with a series of ground-up EVs arriving alongside new combustion-engined models. Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, the firm’s design boss Marc Lichte said:
“We’re working on EVs and successors to the ICE models. We’re about to see the biggest product launch in the history of Audi with more than 20 cars in the next two and a half years. That’s why we’re focusing on cars like the Activesphere concept, which is our last show car for the next few years so that we can focus on series production.”
Of course, many of these will be derivatives within core model lines, but we’re certain to see revamps across the entire portfolio and new pure-electric Audis within the next three years or so. The aforementioned Activesphere will be one of the latter, and pitched as an EV alternative to the Land Rover Defender and Mercedes G-Class.
The firm’s forthcoming PPE platform - co-developed with Porsche - will form the basis of this and other EVs. Its 800V electronic architecture enables rapid charging at up to 270kW, with big 100kWh batteries expected for top-spec variants.
This should provide over 400 miles of range from a single charge for certain models in the range. Buyers will have the choice of single or dual-motor options with Quattro four-wheel drive, and rapid RS editions will top the range.
According to Lichte, these performance flagships will adapt the brand’s EV design language with the muscular looks befitting of an RS. “For me, RS is a combination of performance, functionality and stance,” he said. “I love the RS 6 because of the wide track, and I can promise you that this will continue with our EVs. There is a glimpse of this in the e-tron GT concept car - that car shows what I’m talking about here”.
The first Audi to emerge with PPE underpinnings will be this year’s Q6 e-tron, which will rival the Tesla Model Y as a swept back coupe-SUV. An all-electric A6 e-tron saloon is also expected to join the fray in 2023, ahead of a more practical Avant version next year.
Further up the range, Audi’s flagship luxury saloon will be reinvented as an EV, in the form of the A8 e-tron. This will draw heavily from last year’s PPE-based Grandsphere concept, albeit with a more conventional cabin than the show car’s space-age layout.
Battery powered versions of other core models are expected too, although Audi will launch new combustion-engined variants alongside these - the last of which will enter production in 2025.
Despite costlier pure-electric drivetrains, the firm promises to keep its EV pricing broadly in line with their conventionally-powered equivalents, which will be less adventurous in their designs. “It’s a lot easier to apply elements from cars like the Activesphere to EV platforms. The electric platforms give us more freedom, and the ICE cars will be more traditional,” said Lichte.
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