Audi Boss Has Something To Say About Combustion Engines

Technology / Comments

That includes diesel.

Audi is the Volkswagen Group's chosen brand to advance battery and other electrification-related technologies. Last May, Audi revealed the existence of Project Artemis whose aim is to launch new EVs as quickly and cheaply as possible with zero compromises. Audi's first highly automated vehicle, also part of this project, is slated to arrive in 2024. By 2029, the VW Group aims to have 75 electric vehicles on sale and Audi's role is clearly essential.

However, this drive towards electrification does not mean Audi is abandoning internal combustion just yet. In fact, there are no immediate plans to do so. Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, acknowledged "it will be a while" before ICEs are gone entirely.

2020 Audi R8 Coupe Front View Driving Audi
2020 Audi R8 Coupe Rear View Driving Audi
2020 Audi R8 Coupe Engine Audi

And yes, this includes diesel, which, as we're well aware, doesn't have the reputation it once did due to VW's Dieselgate scandal. Duesmann made clear that despite advances in plug-in hybrid and EV tech, oil-burners are still "by far the most efficient" among the combustion engines. He also reiterated that, outside of the US, Audi's customers "still love diesels." TDI, in other words, isn't going anywhere just yet despite Audi's "very expensive" choice to fix these engines' exhaust in order to comply with new and stricter regulations.

Duesmann, it should be noted, also serves as R&D chief for all of VW Group and Artemis was his idea from the get-go. He's the one who proposed its most specific details and then appointed Alex Hitzinger, who previously served as VW Group's motorsport chief, to run the project on a daily basis.

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2021 Audi e-tron GT Front View Driving Audi
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At present, Audi is one of the few upscale automakers that is not only investing in both ICE and EV technologies but also compressed natural gas and hydrogen fuel cells. Audi wants to ensure it has all bases covered but is still keenly aware battery-electrics are the future. Sometime next year, the Audi e-tron GT, a corporate cousin to the already extremely successful Porsche Taycan, will debut. The Audi e-tron SUV and Sportback are already on sale and they'll soon be joined by a smaller SUV, the Q4 e-tron.

Audi is also in the midst of deciding the status of the next-generation R8. Will it go all-electric or retain a combustion engine, albeit one paired to an electric motor? Given Audi's multi-engine technology approach, making a choice won't be easy.

Front Angle View Audi
Front Angle View Audi
Dashboard Audi
Source Credits: Automotive News Europe

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