Confirmed: Current Audi e-tron Will be Replaced by Q8 e-tron

Audi Q8 e-tron

The follow up to the e-tron will arrive in 2026, and be a larger SUV which will replace the current Audi Q8.

Audi’s facility in Brussels, Belgium will produce the successor to the current e-tron, the company has confirmed. The Audi Forest plant recently celebrated the production of its eight millionth vehicle, and this news means the workforce there will still have a mission after production of the e-tron, which is due for a refresh in 2023, concludes in 2026. In a statement reported by Belgium’s RTL Info, Audi AG Board of Directors Chair Markus Duesmann revealed that the replacement for the e-tron will be the Q8 e-tron:

The future will be electric. Our factory in Forest is carbon neutral. And when we deliver a new vehicle, it is with a ‘zero emissions’ perspective. Based on this experience, the next car produced here will be the Audi Q8 e-tron, the electric successor to the current e-tron. This choice can be explained by the current success. 

That news means that the current generation of the Q8 will be the last with internal combustion engines, as Audi previously announced that all of its new vehicles will be all-electric starting in 2026. Along with the standard body style, it’s expected that there will be also be Q8 Sportback e-tron, and fans of high performance SUVs will likely get an RS-like version as well.  With legendary rally driver and gymkhana master Ken Block on board to aid in electric vehicle development, it’s unlikely that any of the new green machines will be boring.

Given the rapidly approaching deadline for the end of gas and diesel powertrains, we’re likely to see a lot of news about electric vehicles coming out of Ingolstadt in the coming months, especially since there are reportedly 20 new machines on the horizon. That said, fans of luxury longroofs are likely most excited about the possibility of an RS6 Avant e-tron. Because while the current gas-powered version is a weapons-grade piece of kit, we’ve already seen how it performs against Porsche’s Taycan Turbo S, and it’s unlikely that engineers will step backward for the next generation. Stay tuned for more news about Audi’s electric future when we have it!

Image Source: Audi

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Audi RS6 Avant e-tron Might Debut in 2023

Audi RS6 Avant e-tron Might Debut in 2023

Audi might introduce the RS6 Avant e-tron at the same time as the upcoming A6 e-tron electric sedan.

Earlier in March, Audi announced that it will no longer develop IC engines. Since then, the pace of Audi’s electrification strategy has skyrocketed. Most recently, the Ingolstadt automaker’s all-new 2022 Audi A3 made its stateside debut with a standard MHEV variant. Now, according to a recent Autocar report, the German car manufacturer might soon introduce an all-electric Audi RS6.

Right now, the e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT are the only performance electric models in Audi’s arsenal. According to the report, the Audi Sport division is also transitioning into the electric-only future along with the automaker. As a result of this, the company is developing an all-electric performance estate model. The alleged offering might take on the Audi RS6 Avant e-tron moniker.

Back in April, Audi unveiled its A6 e-tron concept. Autocar claims that Audi bosses have almost confirmed that this concept will also lay the foundation for an electric estate version. The report also claims that Audi might launch both offerings at the same time, which means we can expect the battery-electric Audi RS6 Avant e-tron to make its global debut as early as 2023.

Audi RS6 Avant e-tron Might Debut in 2023

Audi RS e-tron GT quattro’s 590 HP and 612 lb-ft all-electric drivetrain might propel the RS6 Avant e-tron

It is also possible that RS6 Avant e-tron and A6 e-tron might share Volkswagen Group’s Premium Platform Electric (PPE) vehicle architecture. The automaker is collaborating with Porsche to develop VW’s premium EV platform. So far, we do not have any information regarding the performance figures of the upcoming estate.

If Audi decides to use RS e-tron GT quattro’s powertrain to propel the RS6 Avant e-tron, then the electric estate might get a 93 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Furthermore, the RS6 Avant e-tron might also get a dual synchronous electric motor setup with a maximum power output of 590 HP (637 HP in boost mode) and 612 lb-ft of peak torque.

Audi wants its electrified product portfolio to be responsible for 40% of its global sales volume by 2025. The automaker will introduce 30 electrified offerings by 2025, out of which 20 models will be battery-only products. The German company will also introduce its final internal combustion model in five years. At the same time, Audi America wants one-third of its portfolio to have some level of electrification.

Image Source: Audi

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Report Says Audi A2 Could Return as an EV

Audi AI:ME

Audi’s AI:ME concept would make a perfect platform for a new A2, and could be a gateway to electric luxury.

The future of automobiles is electric — an Audi is quite clearly leaning into the shift. The e-tron GT is a stunning example of electric luxury, the RS Q e-tron is set to take on the Dakar Rally, and Ingolstadt even recruited Ken Block to help with EV development. But since all new Audi vehicles are set to be electric starting in 2026, there are still loads more green machines on the way, and Germany’s Auto Bild magazine is reporting that we just might see an all-new version of the A2.

At this point, there’s been no confirmation of such plans, though if you stop to consider it, the idea makes a lot of sense. Because while we all know luxury cars and SUVs are the industry’s cash cows, plenty of upscale buyers in urban markets — where electric vehicles currently make the most sense — are looking for something easy to pilot on tight city streets. So an electric hatchback with a small footprint could be ideal. That said, for said car to really resonate, it would have to look the business.

That’s where the AI:ME concept comes into play. When it debuted back in 2019, it was billed as a design study, and a platform for the automated driving technology of the future. Now, regardless of what folks like Elon Musk would like folks to believe, full-on autonomous driving is still a ways off. But there’s no reason that Audi couldn’t turn this concept into reality, and position it toward the bottom of the lineup. In that respect, it could serve as kind of a gateway drug for luxurious electric cars.

For the record, I don’t think range would be terribly important here. In that respect, I agree with Audi CEO Markus Duesmann, who believes that in the future, the range of electric cars will go down, as many people — particularly those in urban centers — come to grips with how little they actually drive. So presence, posh cabins, and great tech would be the most important features for a city car. And honestly, given the increasing attention people of all stripes are paying to climate change, I think we’re overdue for a backlash against massive SUVs. So stay tuned for news on a possible new Audi A2!

Photos:Audi

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Audi Prepares RS Q e-tron For Debut Run At the Dakar Rally

Audi RS Q e-tron Dakar Rally

As the 2022 Dakar Rally draws ever closer, the Audi Sport team shares an update on their RS Q e-tron tests in Germany, Spain and Morocco.

Rallying is in Audi’s blood. It’s where Ingolstadt changed the world forever by using all four wheels to deliver the goods in the Group B era of the early to mid-Eighties. Though it hasn’t been on the scene since then, the company hasn’t forgotten. Thus, in 2022, Audi will enter the Dakar Rally for the first time with another world-changing technology, living in the form of the RS Q e-tron.

Announced back in June, the RS Q e-tron uses Formula E-derived electric motors to deliver 671 horses to the terrain, according to Car and Driver. Those horses got a workout recently, as Audi themselves report in their latest installment of The Road to Dakar.

Audi RS Q e-tron Dakar Rally

“For Audi, the upcoming Dakar Rally means entering a new field in motorsport,” said Audi Sport managing director Julius Seelbach. “And the thing with new projects is, that there is no blueprint.”

With Audi Sport driver Carlos Sainz lending his skills to the RS Q e-tron, the Dakar Rally team began tests in Germany. After getting a rough idea of what the rally monster can do in close quarters, the crew moved on to Zaragosa, Spain. There, the RS Q e-tron took its first jumps like a pro. Finally, Morocco called out, ready to show everything it had, while allowing the same for the electric beast.

Audi RS Q e-tron Dakar Rally

“Coming here, obviously, it’s a great challenge for the car,” said Sainz. “Because we face new problems that we didn’t find in Europe. But this is why we are coming here, and this is where we need to learn what to do to solve these problems.”

Seelbach says the tests in Morocco were meant to demonstrate how well the RS Q e-tron would fare on the Dakar itself. The desert provided the most accurate environment in terms of climate and terrain. And with electric power on-board, a test for all EVs in the most extreme conditions overall.

Audi RS Q e-tron Dakar Rally

“Innovation takes time” said Seelbach. “And we look forward to getting it done. Until the day we are on the Dakar starting line, we will keeping pushing to present what we think is the next step into the future of motorsport.”

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Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.

Past Legends Look Toward Future of Audi Quattro

Audi RS e-tron GT

With rally legends Stig Blomqvist and Fabrizia Pons, Audi DTM driver Nico Muller explores quattro’s past and future.

In 1980, Audi made a life-changing move for itself by introducing the quattro system to the world. No longer would all-wheel drive be the domain of trucks and agriculture. Now, passenger cars could use all corners to provide greater control on the road. Combined with high-performance, turbocharged engines, the new quattro carved a path for all cars to consider taking going forward.

In 2021, Audi’s quattro is now part of the electrification revolution in the overall auto industry. As a tribute, Audi’s YouTube channel enlisted their DTM driver, Nico Muller, to go back to where it all began: France’s Col de Turini. Of course, he wouldn’t be alone on this journey.

Audi Quattro

“Beginning of the Eighties, first ’82, you couldn’t believe the difference with two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive,” said rally legend Stig Blomqvist. “It was really nice, and the feeling was fantastic. I think Audi has done a good job before they started rallying because they wanted to show the rest of the world what four-wheel drive can do. Everybody was thinking, ‘Okay, it’s another Jeep system.’ But they soon find out it was a lot better than that.”

Blomqvist is one of a few to wield the might of the quattro in the Group B era. Through the ur-Quattro, Audi would not only rack up wins and records, but upend rallying forever with all four of its wheels. And what happens on race day translates to the showroom.

Audi RS e-tron GT

“In a combustion engine car, you have a single motor” said Audi Formula-E champion Lucas di Grassi. “You need a very complicated and sophisticated mechanical distribution with differentials and drive shafts to get this power and torque distributed in the four wheels.”

With the RS e-tron GT, computers and electric motors handle the job. Thus, performance is maximized. Blomqvist says the electric Audi outperforms his Group B terror. That’s certainly saying something.

Audi Quattro

“We had such a huge passion,” said rally legend Fabrizia Pons. “It didn’t matter at all how many nights we were not sleeping, and we were working, working, working. It’s important, the commitment. It’s important to know the car.”

Pons says her role as half of the first all-women rally duo with Michele Moulton didn’t hit her at first. Only years later did it occur to her how momentous and historic it was. She adds she’s always working toward the future, then and now, an attitude Audi knows well, especially with quattro.

Click HERE to join the AudiWorld forums!

Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Louisville.com/Louisville Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.