In an interview with the General of Augsburg He also spoke about the brand’s electric car plans. He is convinced that electrification is a central aspect, but not the only important one, in the transformation of the industry.
He is a fan of emotional vehicles, with the e-tron GT sports sedan Audi also offers such a model with a purely electric drive, Hoffmann said. He appreciates the benefits of electric mobility and looks forward to leading the brand into the digital and electric future. Electromobility is still in its infancy and awaits “incredible leaps in development”. Above all, Audi will again “significantly increase” the energy density in the battery.
Next year, the company will show its first vehicles based on PPE (Premium Platform Electric), the chief technology officer announced. The new electric platform, developed by Audi in cooperation with sister company Porsche, has a range of up to 700 kilometres. Hoffmann believes there will be “saturation at some point” in terms of range. On the one hand, the charging network is continuously being expanded, and on the other hand, the charging times have been significantly reduced at the same time. EPI models should have a range of 300 kilometers in about ten minutes. “So, from our point of view, big and heavy batteries are not absolutely necessary,” explained the mechanical engineer.
For him, electrification is just one aspect, Hoffmann said. For him, now is the decade when it comes to digitization and automated driving. That’s the most important thing.” Audi puts the focus on “precise, solid, very safe.” The technology for this is being developed in particular in the Artemis project, which is expected to result in the first electric car. from Audi and technology for electric cars from other Volkswagen brands in 2026.
“With the first model of the Artemis project, we are testing systems that are important to the group, such as the unit cell for the battery, a uniform electronic architecture and the technology for situation-dependent autonomous driving, which means automated driving up to Level 4,” explained the manager. The Artemis project also represents a completely new type of development: the car is created from the inside out. In the future it will be more than the sum of all the components that somehow have to fit together geometrically. The focus is on customer needs, around which the car of tomorrow is developed.
Audi wants to expand premium claims
Hoffmann does not see Audi in direct competition with electric car industry leader Tesla or other individual competitors, but with the technology itself. However, competition is important. Tesla has been very consistent in developing its software, including “over the air” updates via the network. In many other areas, however, he still sees Audi ahead, and they want to expand on that.
Hoffmann referred to Volkswagen’s new subsidiary, Cariad, which will provide uniform software and electronic architecture for the group. “We are going to catch up with that. And, of that I firmly believe, overtaking too,” said the technician. Compared to Tesla, Audi already leads in terms of design, comfort, driving dynamics and quality. Customers expected an Audi premium, in terms of “the workmanship, the appearance, the material, the solidity.” Here the supplier wants to increase in the future.
Audi has announced that from 2026 only new fully electric models will be introduced worldwide. By 2027 there should be an electric model in all major segments. According to Hoffmann, the first vehicle of the Artemis project will be a reinterpretation of the electric luxury class. Audi sees the entry into electromobility in the A segment. However, there will be no direct successors to the A1 and Q2. According to the current status, the smallest electric car from Ingolstadt will be a model like the A3 compact car. In addition, Audi will bring “stunning vehicle concepts,” said the head of development.