Hybrids & Electrics

Audi Is Done Building New Internal Combustion Engines – Electric Is Now the Way

If you’ve kept up with Audi’s recent push into the world of electric cars, this latest announcement won’t surprise you. While Audi isn’t going fully electric just yet, the brand just announced it wouldn’t build any brand-new internal combustion engines. While this seems like the obvious next step, it has a serious impact on other Volkswagen Group brands.

According to Automobilewoche via Motor1, the German carmaker plans to modify existing engines to meet strict emissions regulations. During this time, the brand reportedly plans to invest heavily into electrification, especially for core best-selling models.

How is Audi transitioning to electric cars?

A grey 2021 Audi A4 sedan parked in front of a mountain
2021 Audi A4 | Audi

The first step in Audi’s transition away from internal combustion toward electric cars requires a shift in development dollars. This means that the German carmaker will not develop any brand-new internal combustion engines. While this seems like the obvious next step toward the brand’s electrification, Motor1 reports that there is one major downside to this move.

While Audi’s development of electric cars will spread across various Volkswagen Group brands, this lack of new engines will also impact them. According to Motor1, Audi is the leader of research and development out of all of these brands. That’s why you see plenty of these Audi engines under the hood of various Volkswagen products.

While this move was announced specifically by Audi, its position as the engine development leader likely means that this new tech will surely trickle down. While this is great news for the future, it creates a unique challenge for the present. Especially when you consider that emissions regulations are becoming stricter across the board.

What does this mean for current engines?

A dark-blue 2021 Audi Q5 compact luxury SUV travels on a city street lined with office buildings and leafless trees strung with glowing twinkle lights at dusk
2021 Audi Q5 | Audi

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As you might imagine, most of Audi’s electric cars are years away. In fact, the German carmaker aims to convert many of its core models into electric models by the end of the decade. While money won’t go toward developing brand-new engines, strict regulations force the German carmaker to invest heavily in cleaning up its current lineup.

According to Motor1, the upcoming set of Euro 7 rules will present the carmaker with a major challenge to properly meet new regulations. However, as Motor1 points out, these new rules won’t go into effect until 2025. As a result, there is still time to work on its current engine lineup.

Unfortunately, as Motor1 points out, the Volkswagen Group’s W12 and V10 engines will likely be some of the first to go. Likely because they don’t sell in massive numbers.

What will Audi’s electrified future look like?

2019 E-tron parked outside, one of the first electric cars built by Audi.
2019 Audi E-tron | Audi

As of writing, Audi currently sells a handful of electric cars in the U.S. The first is the e-tron SUV which debuted back in 2019, followed by the e-tron Sportback. While these are great first attempts, their elevated base pricing keeps them out of the hands of mainstream buyers.

The latest contender from the brand is the 2022 Audi RS e-tron GT, an electric super-sedan capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.1 seconds. As you’d expect, this new model is already the brand’s quickest production car. While the brand’s electrification certainly has some hurdles to clear, its future looks quite promising.