Don’t hold your breath for any new Audi internal combustion engines, because they aren’t coming. Markus Duesmann, the automaker’s CEO, today confirmed to German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (via Electrive) that it is finished building new gas engines because it simply isn’t feasible within upcoming European emissions standards. In fact, Duesmann called it “technically a huge challenge.”
Instead, Audi will work to alter its current motors to comply with the stricter new laws over the next several years.
If this plan sounds vaguely familiar, Mercedes-Benz announced it was retiring development of all-new ICE engines in September 2019, and just two weeks ago Volvo said its entire lineup will be fully electric by 2030. Bank on hearing this story with increasing regularity over the coming months. It’s predictable, though the idea that no new, conventional engines will be coming out of Ingolstadt from here on out is still jarring to think about.
I think it’d be easier to swallow if Audi had a range of EVs fit to take the reins, but neither the company, nor the infrastructure, is there yet.
There’s the E-Tron, which is fine but goes about 100 miles less on a charge than Tesla’s Model Y and yet starts at $10,000 more. There’s also the new E-Tron GT, which costs nearly as much as a Porsche Taycan. Neither is a competitively priced volume EV that’s going to corral Q5 buyers — nor in all likelihood will the three-row Project Artemis, reportedly codenamed Landjet. Not really a name that screams “car for the people,” is it?
Rather, Audi is pitching the MEB-based Q4 E-Tron as the company’s bread-and-butter electric crossover. It revealed the car’s interior last week, and we’ll supposedly see it uncamouflaged soon. That one will need to be a hit.
Still, Audi has a little time. The Euro 7 regulations aren’t slated to kick in until 2025. When they do though, the A8's W12 and the R8's V10 will probably be the first to go, while others will live on in some fashion, modified to stay legal until the company has built its EV repertoire out enough to move on from ICE cars for good.