Audi and Porsche actually have a decent history of sharing. The first-generation Audi RS2 had its engine developed by Porsche. Currently, both brand’s share a 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, which was co-developed by both brands, in the Porsche Panamera and Audi A8. That history of sharing is going to continue even further, as both brands are going to be working on an all-new electric architecture together and they could start building cars on it by 2021.
In an interview with Stuttgarter Zeitung, Porsche’s CEO Oliver Blume and Audi’s CEO Rupert Stadler both spoke about how their respective brands would be co-developing this new architecture for electric vehicles. (Using a rough Google Translate from German) “It is right that we become partners, because we are now developing an architecture for electric cars together. On this we want from 2021 to bring several models and vehicle generations on the road. Audi is about two model families, Porsche one.” Stadler told SZ.
So Audi will be developing two different models on this new platform and Porsche will only be making one. Stadler claimed that Audi would be making two sedans and two SUVs on this platform, so one sedan family and one SUV family. But Blume was a bit more noncommittal about Porsche’s plans. They both outlined that this new platform would be capable of producing both sports cars and SUVs, so there’s a lot of flexibility there.
Porsche is currently working on the Mission E, an all-electric super sedan, so that’s Blume’s main focus. When that’s finished, Porsche management will then decide which sort of vehicle to built on this new EV platform first, a decision which should be made by the end of the year. Stadler claims that since Audi will already have the e-tron SUV by then, its first focus will be on a sedan. It remains to be seen whether or not that sedan will be sporty or luxurious but reading between the Stadler’s lines hints that it might be something sporty. An electric Audi RS model, maybe? That doesn’t mean Audi won’t dip back into the SUV water, as it likely will, but not until the (sporty?) sedan debuts.
This joint venture between Audi and Porsche is a very good sign for the future of both brands. Creating a scalable and flexible electric architecture is not cheap. However, sharing the development costs and working together is said to save each brand about 30 percent. That’s an enormous amount, considering that, even with sharing the cost, this new platform will cost into the single-digit billion euro range.
Both brands plant to start developing cars in their respective plants by 2021, so just a few years away. We should start seeing concepts and spy photos within the next year or so. Stay tuned, as this could get interesting.