The rumors have been confirmed: Audi and the Chinese group SAIC, parent of MG, have reached a collaboration agreement for the joint development of electric cars. As a result of this association, the firm with the four rings will have access to an electric platform from IM, the premium brand of the Asian conglomerate.
How has Audi come to the situation of having to resort to the technology of its Chinese competition belonging to the powerful Volkswagen Group? The main reason would be the delays accumulated by the company in the development of the new SSP platform, called to replace the MEB and PPE at a stroke.
The problems are mainly concentrated on the software of the new architecture, which is the responsibility of the young CARIAD division. The electronic platform, known internally as “2.0” (the MEB platform software is called 1.1 and the PPE software 1.2), has been designed to offer advanced autonomous capabilities.
“All stakeholders agree that the Chinese auto market is in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history. Therefore, we will work together on a strategic approach that guarantees our future success ”, says SAIC, which thanks to the popularity of MG is establishing itself as one of the most important manufacturers on the international scene.
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The platform chosen by Audi would be the one that supports the IM L7 and IM LS7, which supports 800-volt systems and wheelbases of 2.80 to 3.20 meters. Its propulsion system can reach 544 CV (400 kW) of power and 700 Nm of torque; As for the batteries, it admits packs of 93 and 118 kWh capacity, enough to get close to 800 km CLTC of range.
As can be seen, these specifications are up to what one expects from a premium firm of the likes of Audi, so the joint developments with SAIC will not clash with their products such as the imminent A6 e-tron and Q6 e-tron. This move will allow the German brand to maintain its competitiveness in an increasingly hostile market.
During the first quarter of 2023, Audi just shipped 3,000 electric cars in China, compared to 21,646 units for BMW and 137,429 examples for Tesla. As part of its recent internal restructuring, the company will replace Markus Duesmann with Gernot Doellner as Chairman of the Board of Management.