Electric foundations

Preparations are well underway for the introduction of a whole new family of Audi vehicles.

Audi has established the foundation for its major e-mobility product assault that will see more than 30 new models arrive in the next half decade.

15 October, 2019

The Audi e-tron is based on an extensively adapted variant of the modular longitudinal platform (MLB evo)

Audi is well advanced in ramping up its electrification strategy that will ultimately see the company put more than 30 electrified models on the market by 2025.

This of course is just a part of the overarching strategy that will see all areas of the company pursuing the path of sustainable mobility with the intention of being carbon-neutral on balance at all locations worldwide by 2050 at the latest.

To achieve the first part of this goal – that of producing new electric models – the company is making use of group-wide synergies and relying on four platforms in both Development and Production. This will allow the development of myriad models from new compact models, right through to the large, luxury class.

In a nutshell, these four platforms are the longitudinal platform (MLB eco for short) on which the Audi e-tron is based, while the four-door Gran Turismo e-tron GT concept is based on the Porsche platform called the J1. For more compact electric cars like the Q4 e-tron concept, the versatile modular electrification platform (MEB) is ideal, while larger electric models use the new Premium Platform Electric (PPE).

The Audi e-tron – MLB

The first all-electric series production model from Audi, the e-tron is based on an extensively adapted variant of the modular longitudinal platform (MLB evo). 

With a wheelbase of 2928 millimetres, the e-tron sits between the Q5 and Q7 in terms of size, and with its combination of high-voltage battery and innovative recuperation system, its boasts a range of more than 400km.

The two asynchronous motors (ASM) of the full-size SUV achieve a maximum joint output of 300kW and ensure a sporty and stable performance on any terrain in co-operation with the electric quattro all-wheel drive. The Audi e-tron can charge using both alternating and direct current and is the first series-production vehicle with a charging capacity of up to 150kW. 

Audi e-tron GT concept – J1 performance platform

First seen at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show, the stunning the e-tron GT concept represents a look at the performance face of e-mobility.

Powered by two permanently excited synchronous machines (PSM), the glamorous e-tron GT produces 434kW and 830Nm of torque, racing from 0 to 100km/h in 3.5 seconds and on to 200km/h in just over 12 seconds.

Just as fast is its charging capability, its high-voltage system designed for a voltage of 800 volts allows the battery to be charged to 80 percent in about 20 minutes at a DC terminal with an output of 350kW. 

The battery is housed in the underbody, between the axles – its design such that it is integrated in the vehicle floor despite the low body position that is typical for sports cars. This creates a very low centre of gravity and also allows ample room for passenger comfort.

Made form lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP), and featuring quattro, the drive management distributes the torques of the electric motors between the axles as needed and also regulates the wheels separately. The technology layout allows for numerous suspension and performance features, such as all-wheel steering or a sport differential, providing excellent traction and a high level of vehicle dynamics.

Electric motors with different outputs and battery modules with different capacities will be used in series production.

The Audi e-tron GT concept points to a glamorous future of performance e-models

The Modular electrification toolkit (MEB) provides the technical basis for the future compact and medium-size class models from Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron concept – MEB

The Modular electrification toolkit (MEB) provides the technical basis for the future compact and medium-size class models from Audi. By using the group-wide MEB platform, Audi can offer its customers affordable yet technically sophisticated electric models with the unmistakable Audi DNA and its tremendous versatility means it can not only be used for SUV models, but also crossover models right through to sedans.

As it is designed exclusively for electric drives, the MEB allows customers to experience all the advantages that compact electric motors and lithium-ion batteries in different sizes and capacities offer. The battery systems, electric motors and axle designs form a stringent technology toolkit. In contrast to the current models with combustion engines, the front section is considerably shorter—the front axle and firewall move forward, making the wheelbase and thus the usable interior space considerably larger.

Shown for the first time in March this year, the Q4 e-tron is the perfect example of the MEB in practice. In terms of its exterior, the Q4 e-tron is around the same size as a Q3, but the MEB platform means that its interior is more like a Q5 in terms of size.

The MEB platform also offers different performance levels and drive layouts, and as well as the typical quattro all-wheel drive with an electric motor at the front and rear axles, there will also be a drive variant with a rear-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive for the entry- level variants.

The new basis for luxury – PPE

Developed and designed in conjunction with Porsche, the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) will form the basis for Audi’s full-size and luxury models.

It is characterised by a high-tech and highly scalable architecture that allows both low- and high-floor vehicles to be developed – covering large luxury vehicles from SUVs, Sportbacks and Avants to Crossovers. 

The dimensions and overhangs of the low-floor Audi models on the PPE platform will be slightly shorter than those of the current combustion engine models on MLB basis but will offer greater interior length. As is typical for electric models, there are no transmission or centre tunnels.

The technology package on the PPE is generally similar to that of the MEB;, but in addition, it offers great potential in terms of output and performance. As standard, the vehicles are fitted with one electric motor in the rear, while the top-of-the-range models are equipped with a second electric motor at the front axle (PSM or ASM) that allows them to activate all-wheel drive automatically when needed. 

As in the Audi e-tron GT concept, the state of charge is 800 volts, which in combination with high-efficiency thermal management, enables a high charging capacity of 350kW.

Certainly the options across the entire range are seemingly endless, and with more than 30 new e-models on their way over the next few years – you can just about feel the electricity in the air.

The Premium Platform Electric (PPE) will form the basis for Audi’s full-size and luxury models