By making effective joint use of their development capacities, the two brands are creating a larger scope for electrification, digitalisation and autonomous driving, and for further development of highly efficient conventional drive systems. “If we had to tackle the challenges ahead on our own, the costs would be around 30 percent higher,” said Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, added: “The PPE is a key piece of the future for us. Thanks to this collaboration, which is unprecedented in the automotive industry, the characteristics, zero emissions and profitability all add up to an ideal combination. So in this case, 1+1 equals 3.”
Project facilities were established in Ingolstadt and Weissach for the joint undertaking, which is expected to result in three model families. Audi is leading two of the three planned vehicle projects, each of which includes models from both companies, and Porsche is leading the remaining project. About 550 Audi developers and 300 from Porsche are currently working on the project – and more are being assigned to the teams. Each of them spends two days a week in attendance at the partner company’s site.
The new electric architecture is enabling Audi and Porsche to exploit the advantages of the purely electric vehicle – including packaging, wheelbase and spaciousness. The architectures are so variable that they can be used for high-floor and low-floor vehicles (SUVs and saloons, respectively). Plans call for the first models based on the PPE to appear in late 2021. Prior to that, in 2018 and 2019, the e-tron and Mission E production models will be the first electric models launched by the two brands.
Audi’s product portfolios of the future will be highly diversified with the MEB (modular electrification platform), which was cost-effectively developed by Volkswagen, the PPE, two further developed conventional architectures, and ideas for sporty models. The company’s transformation, which is well underway, is ensuring that its capacities and financial resources are allocated for the right purposes.