Audi is going up a gear with plans for its all-electric future, committing to phase out production of all petrol and diesel engines by 2033. Every new Audi launched after 2026 will be an EV, says the company.
With the accelerated shift to electricity under the new slogan Vorsprung 2030 announced this week, Audi becomes the latest carmaker to map out its electric future. “The pace of change in our society is rapidly increasing. That’s why we're accelerating our own transformation,” says Audi chief executive Markus Duesmann.
The Vorsprung 2030 plan is heavy on sustainability, “holistic mobility solutions” and profitable growth – a large amount of that growth in China. What the plan doesn’t spell out are the new models – apart from saying they will be increasingly differentiated from rivals.
Audi cars in the future will emphasise more distinctive design, quality and added value, says the company. The strategy will apply to the others in the Audi brand group: Bentley, Lamborghini, Ducati, and Italdesign.
Maintaining the Audi “feel” with the new electric offerings will involve introducing more of the innovations the company is known for, but also concentrating on things like a car’s acoustics, steering angle and hand torque.
“We need to give our products a clear, unmistakable DNA,” Audi technology chief Oliver Hoffmann tells us. “In the future, we will be very explicit in our definition of what driving an Audi should feel like.” He added this would apply equally to autonomous cars.
It appears then that Audis are going to be even more Audi-ish in this electric future. And what if you have a combustion-engined model that you like and want to keep? The firm says it will offer owners “exceptional service” over their cars’ entire life cycle.
“We view ourselves as a company that guarantees the freedom and individual mobility of our customers,” says Audi chief Duesmann. “We don’t simply develop technology for its own sake. It must be consequential and effective in keeping the world moving.”
One of the keys to Audi’s future success is expanding its business in China which the firm believes will expand to 4.5m new cars a year by 2030, 40 per cent of which could be battery electric.