The future of Audi is electric, as the brand confirms it’ll cease petrol engine production in 2033 as part of its reimagination.
Audi will end production of its combustion-engined models entirely in 2033 as it prepares for an all-electric future. Announced as part of a wider ‘Vorsprung 2030’ plan, the news builds on Audi’s confirmation that it’ll only launch all-electric models beyond 2026, pioneering the total adoption of EV mobility within the Volkswagen Group.
This dramatic change to its model lineup harbours many unknowns for the brand moving forward, not least a more complicated path to profitability. Yet the decision to move ahead has come after an extensive research period that will underpin a dramatic company-wide change in the way Audi operates, not just the cars it builds.
The foundation of this change will be built on the same ‘innovation through technology’ mantra that Audi has always touted, but a new way of thinking about the design, construction and user experience is on the cards.
Audi says that elements that have always been high on the agenda like finely wrought design and exceptional build quality are key to this strategy, and while it does have an exceptional record in these areas, historically, they have become less of a strength in its recent models.
For now, these dates do sound far in the future but the time that it takes for all-new generations of cars to be designed, developed and engineered means there will be ramifications for the future models in development now. This means there will only be one more Audi A4 in its traditional form to come, and in turn only one more RS4. The A6 should squeeze in one more generation before the 2026 deadline, so too the A3, but with development now focused on a completely distinct set of all-electric cars alongside the established model lines, these launches will not be the big-budget revelations we’re used to.
The year 2033 is still quite far away, and overseas markets like the UK and greater Europe will already have banned the sale of combustion-engined cars by then anyway, but as a consequence we’ll see some pretty major changes to the Audi brand much sooner. Whether consumers, not to mention the infrastructure, is ready to accept them is another matter entirely.