Audi’s e-tron electric vehicle portfolio will be flooded with more driver-focused offerings from 2021, with a new high-performance electric platform under development with Porsche.
Dubbed the Premium Platform Electric, the new performance and luxury focused architecture will underpin a new generation of the company’s EVs, following in the tyre tracks of the e-tron Sportback, which shares its technology with the game-changing Porsche Taycan.
According to Audi design head Marc Lichte, the PPE will form the basis of mid-sized to large models with serious performance potential, while smaller Audi’s will borrow Volkswagen’s MEB electric platform.
“We are working on PPE - a battery electric platform which we are doing together with Porsche,” he said. “This platform can be scaled from B-segment up to D-segment. Because of this, our battery electric vehicle portfolio will grow very fast in the next two or three years.
“There will be a big family on the MEB platform and PPE will be for the B-segment up to D-segment.”
According to Lichte, MEB will serve a range of more accessible electric Audi models but the PPE venture is necessary to serve Audi’s customers who expect features such as higher speed limits and greater performance.
With higher power-outputs, more athletic ability and greater dynamics, it’s likely a PPE underpinned Audi will pioneer the first electric RS model from the German car maker.
Audi Sport joint managing director Oliver Hoffmann explained that the mild hybrid system found in the latest RS7 and RS6 models is a stepping stone to more electrification followed by plug-in hybrids in the RS family.
“We will launch the next generation of RS also with plug-in hybrid technology.”
While no confirmation could be made for a pure EV RS Audi at this stage, Hoffmann said “there is space for it, yes”.
In the meantime, at least three e-tron models will fill the gap between hybrid and full-fat electric RS models.
“We are launching the e-tron GT the end of next year this car is based on the Porsche Taycan, we developed the car together with Porsche and we are producing it beside the R8. It’s the first fully electric sportscar produced at Audi Sport.”
Alongside the GT and Sportback, Hoffmann reconfirmed a Q4 e-tron would form a third pure EV model to bolster the range in the near future.
Audi Sport’s range of S and RS vehicles has forged a reputation for high driver engagement partly thanks to an unapologetic report regardless of the engine configuration or segment. Interestingly though, Lichte revealed that Audi’s future range of high-performance EVs would not make a sound whether it be naturally or synthetically generated.
“You focus more on the performance without any noise so it’s not planned,” he said.
Instead of augmented or synthesized sounds, Lichte said the company was focusing on making its EVs as quiet as possible with advanced aerodynamics.
“Noise is a very important topic because when there is no combustion engine noise you are more sensitive to wind noises. In the e-tron Sportback there is almost no noise up to 130km/h and this creates a completely new kind of driving experience”.