Audi will continue to use the VW Group’s MEB platform for entry-level EVs, including an electric replacement for the Audi A3 by 2027.
The only Audi currently based on MEB is the mid-sized Audi Q4 E-tron crossover, and questions hung over whether the firm would continue to use the platform, given the new Audi Q6 E-tron spearheads a range of cars based on the new PPE structure, and the VW Group’s new SSP platform will be in production by 2028.
But speaking to Autocar at the Munich motor show, Audi’s technical development boss Oliver Hoffman revealed that Audi will use MEB “in the coming years, especially for ‘A-segment’ cars.”
A-segment’, for Audi, refers to cars the size of the A3 hatchback and Q2 crossover.
No doubt the electric A3 equivalent will use the heavily updated version of MEB, dubbed MEB-EVO, which is envisaged to serve as a bridging architecture to SSP.
This is set to support charging speeds of between 175kW and 200kW, but retain today’s 400V hardware in a reflection of its entry-level billing, though further details remain under wraps at this stage.
Pressed for details on what Audi considers an entry-level EV, Hoffman said: “In the ICE world, our A-segment is A3, Q3 and Q2, and our Q4 E-tron is our so-called ‘high-end’ A-segment car in terms of its size. We have a clear view for our A-segment based on the MEB.”
The firm has already confirmed it will not directly replace the A1 supermini and closely related Q2, so the electric A3 equivalent will be its smallest electric car. Under Audi’s new naming strategy, whereby EVs are given even number designations and combustion cars given odd numbers, it could possibly be badged A2 E-tron, reviving a nameplate that hasn’t been used for nearly two decades.
Asked how Audi can remain a premium brand while extending its electric line-up downwards, Hoffman said: “We have a clear strategy regarding this. We are in the decade of transformation; we have decided on a completely new generation of ICE and PHEV cars, and we will launch our last ICE/PHEV car in 2026.
“Starting in 2026, we will only launch BEV cars worldwide, and that means we will bring in all our core segments – A-segment up to D-segment [A8 and Q8] – battery-electric vehicles.”
“But in parallel,” he added, “especially in this decade of transformation, we will have ICE and PHEV cars in parallel” – suggesting the combustion-fuelled A3 can remain on sale in some form, alongside an electric equivalent, as is the plan for the A4, A6 and Q5.
Hoffman stopped short of giving a launch date, but emphasised that the next two years are the busiest period for new product launches in Audi’s history, with nearly 20 new cars due in dealerships by this time in 2025.