Next-gen Audi A3 to be Electric-only ‘Audi E3’ e-tron model: Report

Audi has plans to sell only electrified models from 2026. Some of the brand’s next-generation cars will be electric-only to cater to the rising adoption of zero-emissions vehicles in key markets like the USA, Europe, and China.

According to an auto motor und sport report dated May 5, 2022, the next-gen Audi A3 would an electric-only e-tron model. In other words, an A3 successor, not a new-generation A3, is on Audi’s product roadmap. The electric successor could arrive as Audi E3.

Audi A3 electric successor confirmation

While Volkswagen will introduce the next generation Golf with an internal combustion engine, its sister model, the Audi A3, is going entirely electric. A report Automobilwoche published on June 18, 2021, states that the Audi A3 “will no longer have a successor as a combustion engine.” As Audi did for the A3, it will use Volkswagen Group’s extensive pool of resources for the car’s electric successor.

Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of Audi, revealed during an interview with Augsburger Allgemeine on December 17, 2021, that an electric Audi A3 is in the pipeline, according to Der Spiegel. Mosch added that the company would begin manufacturing the “electric successors to the current A3 and A4” at the Ingolstadt factory in Germany by 2029. The Ingolstadt plan would start EV operations with the Audi Q6 e-tron in 2023, followed by the Audi E6 (Audi A6 e-tron).

The brand will offer 40% of new models with a pure electric powertrain from 2025 and expand the EV line-up to more than 20 models. Its main long-term goal is to sell ~19 million MEB EVs and ~7 million PPE EVs by 2030.

Platform

Volkswagen Group SSP modules
The VW Trinity project will use the group’s next generation Scalable Systems Platform that will be highly software based. Could the Audi A3 electric adopt the same architecture? Image: VW Group

On March 23, 2022, auto motor und sport reported that Audi E3 is the internal name of the Audi A3 e-tron hatchback. The report added that the E3 would have links to the VW Project Trinity, the brand’s sporty sedan with “high range, extremely short charging times, and revolutionary production (techniques),” expected to debut by 2026.

In the new report dated May 5, 2022, auto motor und sport said that Audi will probably skip the first-generation MEB platform in the compact car segment. MEB II is already in the works in Wolfsburg along with the Trinity project for 2026, as per the report. Further, the report says that the A3 e-tron (or whatever Audi ends up calling the A3 electric successor) will probably sit on the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) with unit battery cells, a new electronic architecture, and a new OS.

SSP will debut in a Volkswagen-branded electric sedan resulting from the Trinity project in 2026. It basically suggests that MEB II would be a part of SSP. VW Trinity’s sister model would be the Audi Apollon, which would be a source of learnings for the next generation Aud A3. SSP will be a highly modern and digitized architecture for future VW Group vehicles.

SSP-based EVs would sport a highly software-based set-up and come with standard hardware. Customers will be able to configure or upgrade their vehicle months and years after purchasing it. For instance, they might be able to add more horsepower simply by purchasing it online through dedicated VW Group portals—the company would then boost the vehicle’s power through an over-the-air (OTA) update.

What’s more, VW Group plans to include bidirectional charging capability to the MEB platform. With this two-way charging method, customers can use their EV’s battery to power external appliances like a water pump, electric kettle, or even an e-bike. Bi-directional charging would also allow Vehicle-to-Grid and Vehicle-to-home applications.

Audi A3 e-tron/Audi E3 to be the entry-point to the range

2021 Audi A3 Sportback 2021 Audi A3 Sedan
Audi presented the fourth-gen A3 family in early 2020, and so, it may not unveil the Audi E3 before 2026. Image Source: Audi

At the start of 2022, Audi announced that the A1 would be discontinued and the current generation of the Q2 would be its last, hinting that more premium Audi models would be the entry point to the brand. During the 2022 Audi Annual Media Conference, Auto Express asked Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG, about the A3’s electric successor and the future entry-point to the Audi range. Here’s what Duesmann said:

Let me say that we are many brands in the corporate group. We are four brands that represent the volume segment in an excellent way. Audi will strengthen the upper range. When it comes to the entry level, I can commit that the A3 or its successor will probably be the entry level.

Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of Audi AG at the 2022 Audi Annual Media Conference in March 2022

Production & Release Date

According to the auto motor und sport report dated May 5, 2022, the Audi A3 electric successor will arrive in 2027. It’s good to know that the Audi is going all guns blazing towards electrification and digitization across segments! The fourth-generation Audi A3 was introduced in March 2020 and is offered in hatchback and sedan versions. The electric A3 may offer multiple body styles as well.

Audi A3 U.S. Sales

The Audi A3 has been among the better performing Audi models in the first quarter of 2022. Audi of America managed to deliver 1,368 units of the A3 in the first three months of 2022, compared to 1,329 units delivered during the same period in 2021—a 2.9% increase. However, 2021 sales were disappointing for the Audi A3.

Audi sold 2,390 units of the A3 in 2021, compared to 9,937 cars sold in 2020—sales plummeting by a whopping 76%. Audi’s entire Q range of SUV portfolio witnessed a positive sales trend in 2021 in the United States, indicating buyer preference steadily shifting towards high-riding SUVs.

Next-gen Audi A3/Audi E3 FAQs

When will Audi launch the next-gen A3?

The next-gen Audi A3 may debut in 2027.

Which models will the Audi E3 compete with?

The Audi E3 could compete with a range of models, including the next-gen A-Class (electric) and the next-gen 2024 Mini Cooper Electric.

Featured Image Source: Audi