Audi isn’t giving up on sedans as it pivots towards electrification

2019 Audi Q4 E-Tron concept
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

Audi’s product plan calls for the launch of no fewer than 12 fully electric models by 2025. Many of them will arrive as SUVs and crossovers, but the company isn’t giving up on sedans. One of its top executives revealed an A4-sized, battery-powered model is currently under development.

Speaking to British magazine Autocar, Audi design boss Marc Lichte explained the shift towards electric powertrains doesn’t necessarily make the traditional, three-box sedan an endangered species. It’s much easier to package batteries into a higher model, and crossovers claim a bigger share of the new car market every year, but some buyers still like sitting low, and prefer the sharper driving dynamics associated with a sedan.

That’s why Audi is currently in the process of developing an electric alternative to the A4. Specifications like driving range, charging times, and performance remain under wraps, likely because they haven’t been finalized yet.

“We’re working on [the car] right now,” Lichte affirmed. It will share its basic platform with the upcoming Porsche Taycan, meaning it will not be offered with any kind of gasoline engine. Pelting it into the A4’s segment will make it a direct competitor for the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2. Mercedes-Benz and BMW — Audi’s archrivals — are both working overtime to enter the segment sooner rather than later.

When it makes its debut, the model will join the E-Tron, the E-Tron Sportback, the E-Tron GT, and the Q4 E-Tron in Audi showrooms. The E-Tron is already on sale across America; Digital Trends drove it in late 2018 and walked away impressed. The fastback-like, form-over-function E-Tron Sportback will make its debut before the end of the year. The GT and the Q4 are both scheduled to break cover in 2020.

Lichte stopped short of revealing precisely when the yet-unnamed A4-sized electric sedan will make its debut, but Autocar speculated it will arrive in about 2023. Audi has previewed nearly all of its upcoming battery-powered models with tech-packed, design-led concept cars, and we don’t think it will make an exception for this one. We expect to get a preview of it at a major auto show in the coming years.

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