Will EVs takeover entirely? Perhaps not.
Change is happening in the auto industry as we speak. From Ford to GM to the VW Group, the permanent changeover from internal combustion to electrification is underway. However, internal combustion engine technology very much still has its place today and the near-term future. Speaking to Automotive News Europe, newly installed Audi board member for technical development Peter Mertens admitted that yes, Audi buyers will keep demand alive for V8 engines, but the W12 and V10 could very well be on their way out.
“We will thin out our engine-transmission combinations, but entire engine families might also disappear,” Mertens said. “Do we really need a V10 and W12 for the next generation of cars? We get questioned about the (future of the) V8, and in particular the diesel, but I cannot imagine we will do without it. We have a very important group of customers that really wants eight-cylinder engines in larger vehicles. Will it exist forever? No, but (it will) for a rather long time.” This is quite a statement, especially from someone so high up within the VW Group. Eventually though, that V8 demand will, more than likely, fade away as consumers become more adapted to what’s about to come: EVs and autonomous driving.
Speaking of which, Audi is currently the only automaker in the world that has a Level 3 Autonomy vehicle on sale, the all-new A8. Mertens added that Audi is hard at work on achieving Level 4, which is expected to be ready in no more than five years’ time. Level 5 is the highest possible rating for autonomous driving, and Audi just revealed a concept at Frankfurt last month with that capability.