Electric Vehiciles

Audi details stepping stones to 20-model all-electric fleet by 2025

Audi has detailed their four vehicle platforms that provide the foundation to the company's electrified future.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has committed to having 30 electrified models for sale by 2025, with 20 of those being full electric. The company's promise falls into line with those of its parent company, Volkswagen, and the stated goals of all of the Volkswagen brands.

The German automaker already offers five premium electrified models for sale in the U.S. The Audi Q5 TFSI e, A7 TFSI e, and A8 TFSI e are all plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). The Audi E-Tron SUV and Sportback.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Next up are the Audi Q4 E-Tron SUV and E-Tron GT performance sedan. These two models have already been shown in concept form.

Globally, Audi anticipates it will reach production of approximately 800,000 electrified vehicles per year by 2025.

Audi's upcoming all-electric vehicles will feature four different architectures. The company says that these models balance performance, efficiency, practicality, and the engineering and craftsmanship buyers have come to expect from the German automaker.

Audi E-Tron 55 Quattro Platform Photo courtesy of Audi AG

MLB Evo Platform

The Audi E-Tron SUV has a wheelbase of 114.3 inches putting it between the Audi Q5 and Q7 in the automaker's lineup. It has a battery pack that stores up to 05 kWh of energy and can recover 30 percent of the energy used during driving via regenerative braking.

The E-Tron platform houses two asynchronous electric motors that produce 402 horsepower in Boost mode. A more powerful, three-motor variant (possibly for an E-Tron S or RS-type model) is under development.

It has a power electronics module that is able to read sensor data 10,000 times per second and output those values allowing the motors to assist with traction depending on road conditions. This all-wheel drive system can redistribute torque to wheels with traction during a slippage situation in just 30 milliseconds.

The models can charge using Level 1, 2, and 3 current, achieving an approximately 80 percent charge in 30 minutes at a 150 kW high-speed public charger.

This platform is manufactured in a CO2-neutral plant in Brussels, Belgium. That factory has a rooftop solar array that is large enough to charge approximately 30,000 E-Tron SUVs.

Audi E-Tron S Sportback Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The new E-Tron Sportback will join the Audi lineup later this year and feature a sloped roofline giving the SUV a sportier appearance than can be found in the E-Tron SUV.

J1 Platform

The recently revealed Audi E-Tron GT concept performance sedan shows how Audi envisions their sports-centric car lineup evolving in an electric era. The model features engineering with the Porsche brand, which developed the J1 architecture, the platform that underpins the Porsche Panamera.

Audi has designed the E-Tron GT concept to feature two permanently excited synchronous motors that deliver 582 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque. The motors have permanent magnets in them and a natural internal magnet field. In this type of motor, the rotor moves in coordination with the magnetic field of the stator (the stationary part of the motor in which the rotor rotates). This puts the "permanently excited" in its name.

Audi reports that the electric system inside the E-Tron GT concept runs at 800 volts. Typical systems run at 400 volts. The increased amount is possible because of the car's energy management and cooling systems.

Retail-ready stats for the car aren't available yet, but the concept car is estimated in to reach 62 mph in 3.5 seconds and 124 mph in just over 12 seconds. Like other E-Tron models, it was fashioned with all-wheel drive with dynamic torque management.

The E-Tron GT is able to charge to 80 percent of its battery capacity in 20 minutes at a Level 3 DC fast charger.

Audi Q4 E-tron Concept Photo courtesy of Audi AG

MEB Platform

The Audi Q4 E-Tron concept was deigned to deliver affordability alongside technical sophistication. This model utilizes the company's MEB platform, which anchors other Volkswagen family vehicles. Using the same platform across multiple vehicle offerings allows automakers to keep costs down, allowing vehicles to be more affordable for buyers.

The MEB platform is able to accommodate a variety of electric motors and lithium-ion batteries. It offers a wheelbase and battery storage design that allows for the maximization of passenger space. According to Audi, "The Q4 e-tron is expected to be the first Audi model based on the MEB platform, with exterior dimensions comparable to those of the Q3 but with the interior dimensions of a significantly larger vehicle. The architecture also offers new design opportunities and offers different performance levels and powertrain configurations."

A variety of motor and power configurations are allowed for in this platform. The electrical architecture allows for 800 volts of power, what the J1 delivers.

Audi e-mobility Photo courtesy of Audi AG

PPE Platform

Co-developed with Porsche, the PPE architecture is a high-tech, scalable platform that allows for low- and high-floor vehicles that are medium-size and up and is designed to be offered in vehicles for the global market.

A number of powertrain and battery options will be available. Standard packaging will allow for one electric motor in the rear; the higher-range models will be equipped with a second electric motor at the front axle that can activate all-wheel drive functionality when needed.

Despite all this engineering and development, the question remains, "Do people want to buy electric vehicles?" A recent Ford Trends report revealed that one-third of those surveyed globally had no interest in owning one.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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