Audi’s last combustion engine model will be on sale till 2033; development on ICE engines to cease from 2025.
Audi has been one of the forerunners when it comes to electric mobility and the German luxury carmaker has now announced its new corporate strategy – 'Vorsprung 2030' – which essentially means Head Start 2030. More importantly, with this new strategy, Audi has announced a definitive timeline for the brand’s transition to electric mobility.
Will launch only EVs from 2026
ICE-cars production to end in 2033
Increased focus on software and autonomous tech
Audi has announced a definite deadline for ICE cars
Audi has announced that, from 2026, it will only launch vehicles that are equipped with electric drive systems. The company has also said that it will gradually phase out production of its internal combustion engines between now and 2033. That said, Audi will, of course, continue to service these vehicles throughout their lifespan.
Audi Vorsprung 2030: what is it?
Audi’s new corporate strategy has been designed around the theme "Vorsprung durch Technik", which is the company’s long-standing tagline and means Progress through Technology.
Audi’s board of management has spent months devising this new strategy that will see the company focus on future sustainability in all aspects of production. Announcing the new strategy, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, said, “We view ourselves as a company that guarantees the freedom and individual mobility of our customers. We don’t simply develop technology for its own sake. It must be consequential and effective in keeping the world moving.”
Audi’s chief strategist Silja Pieh, along with her team of roughly 500 employees from across the US and China, spent months analysing over 600 current and forecasted global trends through to 2030 in the mobility sector that could become relevant to the company. The team has identified that sales and profits will gradually shift, for example, initially from vehicles with combustion engines to electric cars, and later, when autonomous driving offers additional growth potential, to software and services.
Future all-electric Audis to have a distinct DNA
In the future, Audi will be looking to strongly differentiate its all-electric vehicles from the competition, with increasing focus on quality and design. Key to this will be the ‘Audi DNA’ project with which the company will be taking a deep dive into technical details such as steering angle requirements, hand torque, and acoustics, in order to develop a one-of-a-kind Audi feel for its customers.
Oliver Hoffmann, member of the board of management for technical development at Audi, said, “In the future, we will be very explicit in our definition of what driving an Audi should feel like. This also applies to highly automated driving, by the way.”
Audi has also announced that the group’s software arm, CARIAD, will be playing an important role in the 2030 strategy. It will be developing a scalable software platform with a standardised operating system and cloud connectivity for all Volkswagen Group brands by 2025.
This new strategy will see dramatic changes in not just the company’s portfolio of cars, but also in the way Audi operates as a brand. In essence, Audi’s existing portfolio of ICE cars like the A4 and A6 could see one last generation update before development on ICE platforms completely ceases from 2026.
Similar strategies from rival brands
Not just Audi, but several other carmakers have also announced a definitely timeline for transition to electric mobility. Earlier this year, Jaguar revealed its bold new ‘Reimagine’ strategy. This will see all Jaguar and Land Rover models being offered with an all-electric version by the end of the decade, with Jaguar becoming an electric-only luxury brand from 2025 onwards. Meanwhile, Land Rover will launch six EV variants within the next five years, with the first all-electric Land Rover due in 2024.
Similarly, Mercedes-Benz revealed an ambitious plan to go all-electric by 2030 "where market conditions allow”. Mercedes will offer a battery-electric vehicle in all segments from 2022, and from 2025, the company promises to offer an EV option for all its models. Most notably, it will introduce four all-new and bespoke EV platforms by 2025, and has committed to building eight new battery factories worldwide.
Audi is targeting at least 15 percent of its India sales to come from EVs by 2025. Keeping in line with its global strategy, the carmaker will be bringing in more e-tron models in the years to come. As such, the German marque already has the Q4 e-tron in its global portfolio and is also working on the A6 and Q6 e-tron.
The carmaker has also said that it will consider local assembly of EVs, if it achieves its goal of having 15 percent of its total sales from EVs by 2025.