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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is an interesting read on what is happening to Audi. Near the end they talk about new programs. One of which is developing a single engine similar to what Volvo has done. Very interesting.

Audi bashing is currently envogue. In the wake of the VW Group’s diesel scandal—which did at least in partoriginate with Audi in Ingolstadt—things have indeed gone wrong in a big wayfor the Group’s main moneymaker. And by the looks of it, rock bottom is still acouple of years away.
The ProblemsThe most recent sales slide wastriggered by an embarrassing shortage of engines certified to meet the new WLTPEuropean efficiency test, which has resulted in drastically limited choicesamong available models. Later this year, the second phase of EU6 emissionregulations will roll out, likely further increasing the pressure, and furtherextensive reengineering will be required to meet the looming EU7 standard. Tobe prepared, Audi needs to invest in additional test facilities, hire moreregulatory-approval specialists, and put an intense focus on developingadvanced anti-emissions equipment and technology.

At the same time, management is struggling to extinguish the many other small fires that further threatenAudi’s damaged brand image. The all-important all-electric e-tron is late tomarket, over budget, and said to be ridden with teething troubles. Halo carslike the TT and R8 have little to no future with the four-ring brand, at least as currently constituted. The A4 and A8 are both selling well below forecasted targets. The familyof plug-in-hybrid derivatives (A6, A7, A8, and Q5) introduced in March at theGeneva show is in all likelihood little more than a stopgap solution. Evenessential projects like performance-boosting water injection or rear-biasedtorque vectoring for the potent but unemotional S and RS models are at thispoint way behind schedule.Cost is what’s killing Audi morethan anything else. Building relatively inexpensive models in plants with thehighest pay scales is only the tip of the iceberg that threatens to sinkprofitability unless fundamental revisions are implemented soon.

An even biggerthreat to the bottom line is the financial burden of a bloatedmiddle-management layer, the numerous service providers the company took onboard when it still had money to burn, the armada of old-school engineers andsoon to be redundant assembly-line workers, and the blatant absence of softwarespecialists and electrical, mechanical, and robotics experts. Rupert Stadler’sassumption that a mix of natural attrition, early retirement, and goldenparachutes would rejuvenate and refocus the workforce within the next two tothree years is turning out to be little more than wishful thinking. Althoughnew chairman Bram Schot recently announced that one out of 10 managers will beeliminated, the powerful European unions won’t let the company dismiss excessstaff at the operationally necessary rate.
Moving Forward: Potent EVs, FarBetter Electronics Architecture, and MoreWhile top management struggles toformulate a set of new brand values that can steer the “Vorsprung durchTechnik” philosophy through the paradigm shift that has only just begun, AudiR&D has gradually slipped into simply executing in the present rather thanrethinking and shaping the future.

After all,
the MEB compact electric-vehicle platform is a Volkswagenbrainchild, the upmarket PPE electric-vehicle component set is a joint effortwith Porsche, and Audi’s own MLB architecture is fast approaching itsexpiration date. There was a time when Audi was appointed by Wolfsburg to leadthe VW Group’s digital and technology strategy, to spearhead the autonomousdriving activities, to set the pace in terms of synthetic fuels and hydrogen,but all that is history. Right now, the scaled-back responsibilities focus onadapting and implementing technologies conceived elsewhere. Fortunately forIngolstadt, it is being allowed to maintain control over Lamborghini as long asthe margins at least double over time, and it will get two versions of thePorsche Taycan—badged e-tron GT and GTR—but the crystal ball does notforecast a single tailormade Audi sports car moving forward.Devoid of game-changing mandates,sweating the details is currently high up on the agenda of Bram Schot and hissubordinates.

Simmering but not yet fully cooked are a fresh approach to micro-and urban mobility (remember the Urban Concept?), a more aggressivebattery-cell chemistry in combination with higher operating voltages, alimited-edition solid-state-battery halo car manufactured exclusively from3D-printed parts, a pair of h-tron fuel-cell vehicles, the e-tron Plus systemthat delivers incredibly high levels of range and performance (think ‘beastmode’—take that, Tesla), and the so-called modular one-engine-does-it-allapproach which pairs every PHEV battery with the same scalable gasoline-fueledfour-cylinder.
Definitely on its way is the morepotent E3 electronics architecture which can process much higher volumes ofdata. E3 is the gateway for new digital business models such as an extendedconcierge service; fully automatic payment for battery charging, tolls,parking, car washes, etc.; on-demand pick-up and delivery; extra-cost comfortand performance enhancements activated over-the-air; distinguished autonomousdriving and riding experiences; plus of course breakthrough digital assistancethat goes beyond a “Hey, Audi” take on the Mercedes and BMW status quo.Although design has under MarcLichte once again become a strength of the brand, an excess of flamboyance andaesthetic complexity are apparent issues when compared with the cool Bauhausgraphics favored by new challengers like Polestar—it is perhaps time to rethinkthe aging visual language that still highlights the “singleframe” grille, theUr-Quattro-referencing fender flares, and LED-lit jewelry. Starting right now,Audi’s designers may want to create a more distinctive look for the A1 throughA8, the Q2 through Q8 and for the entire e-tron family.

To avoid excessiveproliferation, a handful of current and future models are going to bite thedust. On the provisional casualty list are the stillborn five-door A3 “coupe,”the three-door A1/S1, the A5 Sportback and convertible, the TT coupe androadster, the R8, and the proposed A9. New arrivals include the A1 City Carver(it won’t be badged as an Allroad because it lacks AWD, but that’s what it is),the Q3 and Q5 Sportback “coupes,” replacements for the two-door A3 and A5
The Coming EV OnslaughtThe biggest project is of coursethe completion of a full fleet of all-electric cars and crossover SUVs. Whilethe more conventional versions are tasked with chasing volume and newcustomers, niche models will emphasize style and emotion.

Here is a provisionalrundown of the first wave of e-tron Audis to be sold alongside their ICE/PHEVcounterparts:
e-tron Sportback (early 2020); like most future e-tronversions, it will be available in three different battery and powertrainconfigurations.eQ3/Q3 e-tron (late 2020); anMEB-based compact SUV with a China-only long-wheelbase version.e-tron GT (2020); the productionversion of the 2018 L.A. show concept, mechanically twinned with the Porsche Taycan.e-tron GT shootingbrake/Sportback (2021); a wagonoid variant on the above in the mold of the Taycan Sport Turismo.eQ2/Q2 e-tron (early 2021);internally known as A-SUVe, this one really ought to be called the eQ1 exceptthat it’s one size bigger than the extant A1.eQ4/Q4 e-tron (late 2021); the“coupe” version of the eQ3.eQ5/Q5 e-tron (early 2022); SUVbased on the PPE architecture and twinned with the electric Porsche Macan replacement, with thelong-wheelbase version limited to China.e-tron GTR (2023); a two-seatevolution of Audi’s wild 2018 Pebble Beach concept, presumably based onTaycan architecture.eQ6/Q6 e-tron (mid-2023); this isthe “coupe” version of the eQ5, and like that model will share its basis with the EV Macan replacement.eQ7/Q7 e-tron (2023); this willeventually supersede the first-generation e-tron and Q7 and be twinned with the2024 successor to the current PorscheCayenne.eQ9/Q9 e-tron (late 2023); anall-new full-size seven-seat flagship SUV “coupe” in the style of the current Q8.e4/A4 e-tron (post-2023); thismodel will be MEB-based and effectively be Audi’s Tesla Model 3fighter.

It’s expected to be available as a sedan and a wagon and/or five-doorSportback.
e6/A6 e-tron (post-2023);PPE-based, the eA6 is expected to be available as a sedan and wagon.e8/A8 e-tron (post-2023); again,this is PPE-based and to be offered as a sedan and Avant wagon. It will betwinned with the 2025 Panamera EV.This is an impressive array ofexciting new product, no doubt about it—except that almost all of these carsare VW and Porsche creations dressed up as Audis. This approach has a lot goingfor it in terms of return on investment, but as far as public perception isconcerned, reimagining other VW Group brands’ cars doesn’t much back up Audi’sVorsprung durch Technik motto. Since Quattro drivetrains and aluminumspaceframes are no longer state-of-the-art differentiators, fresh and excitingtakes on contemporary values are urgently required. As Audi looks to becomemore efficient and even more tech-savvy, the firm must also advance the brandawareness by staking bolder claims through aggressive risk-taking,expressiveness, and exclusivity. We should know how far it plans to go in theseareas within five years.
 

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Audi is Germany's Buick. The redheaded middle stepchild that VAG loves when they are doing well but as soon as they have problems they get kicked to the curb. It's all about VW (world market) and Porsche (high end market). Those areas always stay stable.

Both Audi and BMW have suffered from having too many models in the last decade. They used to focus on building maybe 3-4 great models. Now they have a zillion. The dilution of their talent there is showing badly.
 

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Audi is Germany's Buick. The redheaded middle stepchild that VAG loves when they are doing well but as soon as they have problems they get kicked to the curb. It's all about VW (world market) and Porsche (high end market). Those areas always stay stable.

Both Audi and BMW have suffered from having too many models in the last decade. They used to focus on building maybe 3-4 great models. Now they have a zillion. The dilution of their talent there is showing badly.
yeah I hope all the german makers go back to simple model lineup. That's at least something Volvo has stuck to, though we are currently missing a compact executive car right now with no 40 series.
 

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Their plan for e-tron line is so many models.

I'd like to see some Volvo BEV plan or cars. It is about time now.
e-S60/V60, e-V40, e-XC40, a smaller urban e-V30/V20 should be very well welcomed too.

Geely is buying some 50% stake of smartcar. Hope Volvo get some share of the cake...
 

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... an embarrassing shortage of engines certified to meet the new WLTP European efficiency test, which has resulted in drastically limited choices among available models. Later this year, the second phase of EU6 emission regulations will roll out, likely further increasing the pressure, and further extensive reengineering will be required to meet the looming EU7 standard. To be prepared, Audi needs to ... focus on developing advanced anti-emissions equipment and technology.
Sounds like Audi-VW-Porsche's Deiselgate efforts of wasting time, labor, and money on poisoning its neighbors and counting coins into their pocket are catching up with them? Is this a classic case of "reap what you sow" or am I missing something? I don't believe these regulations happened overnight ...
 

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It's interesting... but is there any facts behind these opinions? When they say the A8 is not selling - numbers? Is there a source for this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The original article came out of Automobile Magazine. So there was no additional information provided. I copied the entire article.
 

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sales number is public data I think.

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