Forget EVs. Audi has chosen the path of plug-in hybrids.
For the past few years, Audi has been working steadily on its e-tron EV program. But it’s never really taken off in the way many anticipated. What has been doing well is Audi's advancement in the realm of plug-in hybrid technology. And fortunately, the public at large has been more receptive to plug-ins than pure EVs. Perhaps that’s why Audi’s R&D boss, Ulrich Hackenberg, told Autocar that his company has decided to prioritize plug-in hybrids over other alternative powertrains.
The ultimate goal is that by 2020 there will be a plug-in hybrid variant available for all key models. To make that possible, Audi plans to develop two separate plug-in hybrid powertrains. Smaller Audis built on VW’s MQB platform will feature a powertrain with an electric motor placed in between a transversely-mounted 1.4-liter TFSI engine and a six-speed dual-clutch. Larger Audis, specifically those with the quattro AWD system and with a longitudinal engine, will have their electric motors situated between the engine and transmission. So basically we can forget about a fleet of Audi EVs. Plug-in hybrids rule the day here.