Audi’s Halting Development Of Internal-Combustion Engines In 2026

In the quest to go all-electric, the petrol engine must take its bow

  • By: Dinesh
  • Thursday, 24 June 2021
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Audi’s Halting Development Of Internal-Combustion Engines In 2026

The future is electrifying and that applies to vehicles as well. Carmakers have started to commit to electrification; some are ensuring it’s a major component of their future mobility solutions while others are going the extra mile to position it as their sole method of propulsion.

Audi is one of the latter. It has confirmed that development programmes for internal combustion engines (ICE) under the four rings will cease in 2026. That means no new petrol or diesel engines will be developed 2026.

All existing ICE at the time will continue to be offered alongside hybrid and electric options until the early 2030s which will then see pure electric powertrains powering the brand from 2032 onwards.

The death of ICE can be attributed to the increasingly stringent Euro 7 emissions regulations that make producing them difficult as well as most nations or cities banning the use of ICE vehicles in the future.

Currently, Audi’s pure-electric portfolio comprises six models; the E-Tron, E-Tron Sportback, E-Tron GT, RS E-Tron GT, Q4 E-Tron and Q4 E-Tron Sportback. The transformation into a pure-electric carmaker will see the introduction of 20 new EVs by 2025.

It’s expected the last ICE model from the marque will be the new Q8, slated for a launch in 2026 alongside an electric Q8 e-tron variant. The former will be discontinued in 2032.

Next up should be the new ICE A6 that will also be joined by an A6 E-Tron in 2023. Moving forwards, new models will be introduced in the same manner until the early 2030s which will then see new models being full EVs.

Audi is the first of the premium German trio to put pen to paper on its electrification plans but not the first under the Volkswagen Group. Bentley has confirmed that it’ll go full electric by 2030 with its first EV being a SUV coming in 2025.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW have yet to fully commit to a timeline for electrification. While Mercedes-Benz has been fast-tracking EV models with the EQC and EQS, BMW has reaffirmed that it won’t be phasing out ICE models and that half of its sales will come from EVs by 2030.

On the bright side, Audi is going out with a real bang; pops and bangs in fact. The upcoming RS3 will have a wild inline-five and a drift mode that should ensure its last few ICE models will be legendary.

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