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Audi says goodbye to internal combustion engines in race to compete with Tesla

Written by Thembani Magazi – March 24, 2021

Reviewed by Asaf Kedem

The race is on to dominate the market for the premium segment. New emissions standards mean that car manufacturers have to think of better strategies to deliver customers the utmost value for their money. With this in mind, German marque Audi has announced that it is officially halting the development of new internal combustion engines.

Audi C.E.O, Markus Duesmann, explained that the hugely impactful move is partly due to the EU’s plans for a stricter Euro 7 emissions standard. In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Duesmann explains: “We will no longer develop a new combustion engine, but will adapt our existing combustion engines to new emissions guidelines. “

You may be wondering what could be so drastic about the new Euro 7 as opposed to the Euro 6 that was already in place. Well, the short answer is that they are simply tighter. The planned Euro 7 standard provides for clearly strict emission standards for motor vehicles from 2025: New vehicles will then only emit 30 mg NOx (nitrogen oxide) per kilometer and, in a second scenario, only 10 mg per kilometer. The current limit is 60 mg for gasoline and 80 mg for diesel vehicles. In addition, the CO2 limit values ​​are to be drastically reduced to 300 or 100 mg, depending on the vehicle category. In addition, the measurement conditions are to be tightened considerably during the Real Drive Emissions Test (RDE) to ensure compliance with limit values. All exceptions previously permitted in the RDE are to be removed, i.e. tests contrary to the real everyday use of most cars in extreme situations (extremely low temperatures, driving at full throttle, driving at high altitudes or towing a trailer).

No wonder these regulations are being hailed (sometimes negatively) as “the end of the combustion engine.” Audi is simply one of the first brands to respond to the new changes even if some of them seem a little unfair at the current moment in time. The industry will need time to fully embrace these new regulations. Audi is ready though. They have an impressive line-up of planned electric vehicles to make up for the absence of the combustion engine in their R&D.

Audi is aiming to offer 20 electric models in five years. The marque has also shared its hopes that the Q4 e-tron, which is based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform will reach new customer groups following other all-electric cars like the e-tron SUV and the e-tron GT both rivalling the Tesla Model X and Model S respectively. The plan according to Audi is for the Q4 e-tron to be affordable for many people and to be just the right entry-level model for e-mobility.

Auto Trendy’s take

We are seeing a lot of the premium brands revise their approach to the combustion engine in favour of electrification. Audi’s strategy appears to mirror Mercedes Benz and BMW has also recently accelerated release of its planned electric models. This doesn’t seem like the end for combustion engine lovers yet however, at least as far as Audi is concerned. The company is intent on selling combustion engines for years to come; the new cars will just have to be equipped with existing combustion engines. It will be interesting to see in future how the design engineering of the drivetrain will evolve with changes in regulations. Some of us are not ready to say goodbye to petrol and diesel engines just yet!

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