While it has a certain air of luxury and prestige around it, the one thing people tend to forget about Audi is their capacity for innovation.
In its decades on the market, Audi has never been the kind of company to skimp on the number of different derivatives they offer. More than once, it’s put out cars that have filled specific niches, before most drivers even knew there was a gap to fill!
However, the auto giant has recently announced that they plan to drop a whole two fifths of its powertrains in order to make room for developing greener models.
Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management at Audi, spoke at the firm’s recent AGM, announcing that they plan to drop up to 40% of their current driver versions in the long run, taking some complexity out of the system and making room for the electric models of the future.
Stadler went on to explain this seemingly rash change in direction, saying that he’s totally convinced that new things can only be brought in if they throw some of the old out.
Audi’s two-door derivatives, for instance, haven’t been seeing the highest sales figures in recent years, and the company can take these models off the market without making much of a loss.
Stadler also said that a number of engine and transmission combinations are due to be dropped from their fleet. The board now seems to think that maintaining their range of four-cylinder engine models at varying powers, and manual and automatic versions of the same car, are no longer necessary.
Die-hard Audi fans with a passion for high performance may have to run out and buy an SCT tuner in the wake of some of these changes, as the company seems dead set on the path it’s taking. Their ultimate objective is to shed all the unnecessary weight, and make room for the eco-friendly route the whole auto industry is due to take.
Making space for green car tech isn’t the only big change that Audi have in the works. The big spring clean has also given Audi a little breathing room to address the issue of how these vehicles are charged.
Aside from being able to charge a hybrid or fully electric car from your home, it’s also going to be necessary to be able to charge them when on long journeys.
To meet this need, the company is taking a bite out of an infrastructure change, something that it hasn’t done for a very long time, to provide the foundations for convenient electric mobility.
This is going to take the form of a partnership with a number of other branches. Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche are set to establish a joint venture with Daimler, BMW and Ford.
The firms will work together to establish high-performance charging points for fast and convenient recharging along many highways in Europe.
In pursuit of all these shifts, Audi is also going to invest at least 6% of its revenues in R&D as part of its 2025 strategy.