An EV city car or two from Audi

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Words: NZ Autocar
17 Feb 2020

Audi will preview another e-tron at the Geneva show, this EV resembling a compacted version of the AI:ME concept from 2020 CES (pictured). It’s part of a plan that will see the e-tron family grow substantially by 2025.

The supermini will utilise VW Group’s bespoke MEB platform. However, it’s possible there will also be another small car that uses the MEB Entry platform, designed for vehicles roughly four metres long, like Polo or A1. It also keeps cost down so vehicles like this can be sold from around €20,000 ($NZ33,700).

While such entry EVs will likely be restricted to VW, Skoda, and Seat, it is still possible that Audi will end up marketing some vehicle that uses these underpinnings.

An Audi insider said that while such a project has not yet got the go-ahead the company believes it can produce smaller EVs with less investment than its competitors.

The less expensive underpinnings of MEB Entry may mean there’s less opportunity for intricate bodywork modifications. Therefore, Audi’s entry EV city car may resemble a similar offering from VW or Skoda. It would be the interior that differentiates it from the others in the group, according to reports.

There is an emerging sector of the electric car market in which customers are willing to pay more for premium products that don’t offer a vast battery range. MEB Entry models are likely to run for up to about 250km before needing a top up, sufficient to rival the Mini Electric and the Honda e.

Meantime, Audi is hard at work readying the Q4 e-tron for a midyear debut. This utilises the regular MEB platform, as does VW’s ID.3, also due for release around Jun-July. Special versions of the Q4 e-tron are possible, offering ‘enthusiast appeal’.

With a completely new platform, MEB, it would not make sense to have just one variant, according to an Audi insider. “We will extend the portfolio and platform and have some emotional versions.”

 

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