Audi's Electric Cars Will Use Four Different Platforms

Photos: Audi

In a new teaser image showing off Audi’s current lineup of production and concept electric vehicles, the automaker has revealed a fourth fully-electric concept which appears to be another sedan following the Audi E-Tron GT concept driven by Tony Stark in this year’s Avengers: Endgame.

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Auto Express reports that the new sedan is expected to be sized similarly to the current Audi A7, but will be poised a little taller to account for the additional height of the flat battery pack located under the floor of the vehicle’s cabin.

The report also claims the new sedan will be built on Audi and Porsche’s new jointly-developed PPE platform, which is designed to be configurable for sedans and crossovers of various sizes.

While Roadshow confirms that Audi does have a new PPE platform to play with, its report claims that the sedan pictured is only a proof of concept, and not meant to directly preview any particular future model just yet.

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The PPE makes for four different EV platforms in Audi’s product roadmap, which seems odd when you consider that most other automakers have shifted to just one or two modular platforms for their modern cars, including new EVs.

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They do this to keep costs down and supply chains and manufacturing simple and streamlined, so it sounds like a good idea. But Audi’s doing four.

Audi has the MLB Evo platform, which started out on cars like the A4 sedan and Q8 SUV, but has been modified for the Audi E-Tron crossover, Audi’s first production electric car. That platform will also support an upcoming crossover coupe version of the E-Tron.

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Then there’s the new MEB “skateboard” platform that comes from Volkswagen’s upcoming “ID” lineup of electric cars, which Audi plans to utilize for the upcoming Audi Q4 E-Tron compact crossover, which is shown in concept form to the left in the group photo above.

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There’s also the J1 platform which was introduced with the 2020 Porsche Taycan that will also support the upcoming Audi E-Tron GT sedan, and possibly more future Audi performance electric cars. The J1 is an 800-volt system, which sets it apart from the previous two platforms which use slower-charging 400-volt architecture.

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And finally, the fourth platform Audi has is this new PPE, which was also jointly developed with Porsche and is also an 800-volt architecture. Where the J1 is more performance-oriented, Roadshow claims the PPE platform is better designed for volume vehicles and can be modified to support various sedan and crossover segments, though apparently no actual models have been confirmed yet.

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I can’t say I imagine Audi sticks with the MLB Evo hack job platform after they get the E-Tron Coupe or whatever it’ll be called out the door, as the PPE should be better for supporting any future crossovers and SUVs. That’ll leave three platforms for, possibly, more affordable smaller cars on MEB, performance cars on J1, and then everything else on PPE.

The only possible way Audi is pulling this off, though, is thanks to the “joint development” benefits of sharing a roof under Volkswagen Auto Group, where they can spread the costs of development among various different models at multiple different car companies, essentially getting a six-or-seven-for-one deal on platforms.

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