Autocar says it spoke to "sources inside Audi" who divulged that the Audi E-Tron is getting ready for the second half of its life with a facelift and technology upgrade slated to appear next year. The most welcome change will be a new-generation battery, more efficient motors with greater energy recuperation, and new electronics that work together to increase range by nearly 50%, going from 259 miles on the European WLTP cycle to 373 miles. If the same transformation applies to our EPA ratings, the E-Tron would go from 222 miles to 329 miles, the E-Tron Sportback would go from an EPA-rated 218 miles to 323 miles. The battery is expected to hold steady on capacity at 95 kWh.
Prototypes of the E-Tron twins haven't revealed much. It looks like we can expect slimmer headlights and tweaked taillights, resculpted bumpers, and a grille with new hexagonal graphics instead of the current grid-like pattern.
Autocar outlet reports that an Audi exec said the changes are to "further increase [the] competitiveness" of the brand's first mainstream electric vehicles. The E-Tron has been a success for the automaker, but it's doesn't represent the best the brand can do in the EV space, having been launched with compromises like the adapted MLB platform originally designed for internal combustion engine vehicles. It will be on the market for another five years or so, and needs to compete with the growing tide of dedicated electric crossovers appearing in that time.
Sometime around 2026, Audi will debut a new flagship electric crossover built on the dedicated Performance Platform Electric (PPE) architecture developed with Porsche. During a visit to Audi's Belgian factory that builds the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback, Brand CEO Markus Duesman told RTL the factory will begin building the Q8 E-Tron to replace the E-Tron. It's not clear what will happen to the current Q8 crossover, which will be seven years old in 2026. It would be prime for a new generation, but who knows if Audi will want to invest the necessary resources in a carryover engine for five years. The company said it won't work on brand new ICE units after 2025, and that it will be an all-electric car company by 2033.
Aside from the Q8 E-Tron launch, Audi just debuted the China-only Q5 E-Tron last week, a Q6 E-Tron will hit the market as the brand's first PPE-based around the same time as its VW Group sibling, the battery-electric version of the Porsche Macan in 2023, that year will also see an A6 E-Tron sedan, and in 2025 there could be a flagship electric sedan called the A9 E-Tron.
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