In 2023, Audi will renew one of the most important members of its range, the Audi A4. The next generation of its medium saloon (segment D) will bring with it many new features, the main one being the splitting of its offer into two models: on the one hand, a thermal A4 based on the MLB platform will be offered, and on the other, an electric A4 based on the PPE platform.
This strategy, which will be similar to the one followed with the A6 in 2023, will result in two different proposals that will only share name and segment. The electric model, which will be marketed as A4 e-Tron, will stand up to the BMW i4, Polestar 2, and Tesla Model 2, while the thermal one will only be offered with mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid mechanics.
Although Audi will keep the RS4 with a gasoline engine at the top of the range, we should not rule out that it will also develop an RS4 e-Tron as an alternative to the i4 M50 and Model 3 Performance. Both the thermal and electric A4 will be offered with a saloon body (although the former will be a four-door sedan and the latter a five-door fastback ) and a station wagon.
Another difference will be found in its mechanical configuration because although both will have Quattro all-wheel drive in their top-of-the-range versions, the access variants of the thermal A4 will continue the tradition of the brand with the four rings and will be front-wheel drive, while in the A4 e-Tron will be rear-wheel drive due to the use of the PPE platform.
This architecture will allow the use of an 800-volt electrical system, which on paper should allow the A4 e-Tron to charge at powers of up to 270 kW in direct current. This will translate into very short refueling times (the A6 e-Tron Concept is capable of going from 5% to 80% charge in less than 25 minutes).
Given its smaller dimensions compared to the A6 e-Tron, it is not clear if the new A4 e-Tron will be able to accommodate the 100 kWh pack that will equip the top-of-the-range versions of its older brother. In case you finally have these batteries, your maximum autonomy could be greater than 700 km WLTP.
The Audi A4 e-Tron will be the cheapest electric car from the German firm to use the PPE platform; those models that fall below (for example, the Q4 e-Tron) will make use of the Volkswagen MEB platform, less evolved (without going any further, it lacks the aforementioned 800-volt electrical system that does equip the architecture developed by Audi and Porsche).