Audi A3 replacement tipped to be an EV on a new platform
Audi's plan is still to morph into an all-EV manufacturer come 2026. In the U.S, however, the ratio of ICE mode lines to EV lines is 12 to 3, the mismatch even greater in other markets that see models we don't get such as the A1 and Q2. So, the automaker's going to throw a lot of new electric product at dealers over the next two years, aiming to get an EV in every core category by 2027. As Autocar frames it, one of the most important vehicles will be an EV underneath the Q4, perhaps in all but name a battery-powered replacement for the current A3. The brand's so big on it that CEO Markus Duesmann, CFO Jurgen Rittersberger, and CTO Oliver Hoffman all mentioned it in some way during the automaker's recent annual meeting.
The current ICE-powered A3 is based on the Volkwagen Group's MQB Evo platform, same as the current Mk8 Volkswagen Golf. Over the next few years, the two are likely to go their own architectural ways. The Volkswagen ID.2all concept that will turn into a new entry-level EV — and could become a GTI — will use the an evolution of the MEB battery-electric platform employed by the likes of the present ID.3 and ID.4. The entry-level Audi electric car is moving to the Volkswagen Group's Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) once planned to be the headline act of VW's Project Trinity and Audi's Project Artemis. After last year's CEO shuffle at VW, we're still wondering what's the endgame for either project.
Based on the touted advances for the platform and the planned sedan car, though, an electric A3 replacement will have a lot going for it. The SSP incorporates more modular potential than MEB for more differentiation between sibling models, as well as a lower floor height, an 800-volt electrical architecture, 270-kW fast charging potential, and a range of up to 435 miles on the WLTP cycle.
The SSP-based Audi is said to keep the four-door sedan and five-door hatch body styles as the traditional A3. As usual, the less restrictive powertrain arrangement will rework dimensions outside and in, designers said to be stretching the wheelbase and cabin, shortening the overhangs and hood length. However, the new bones mean a switch to rear-wheel drive in base models, a new means of motivation for an A3-sized entry. Hotter S and RS trims would get motors turning both axles and performance to eclipse the current iterations. The entry-level model could make an appearance as soon as 2025.
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