With Volkswagen’s takeover of Porsche, Volkswagen Group’s product plans have been shuffled around with arguments about which brand will develop what products. One product development fight that Volkswagen and Audi have now officially denied is over electric vehicles.
Reports earlier this week added to the chaos of Volkswagen’s takeover of Porsche, with rumors that Audi and Volkswagen were fighting over electric vehicle development. The reports said that Audi was working on developing electric vehicles against parent Volkswagen’s wishes. Although the gigantic group has fought about a number of product plans, including the Porsche baby Boxster, Audi R4, and VW BlueSport, Audi is fully cooperating with VW.
The electric vehicle in question is the A1 E-tron Audi unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year. It featured an electric drivetrain with a single-rotary, gasoline engine that worked as a range-extender. Audi reportedly began developing the car for production without VW’s approval.
While the concept was dubbed “a near-series production vehicle,” no firm production plans, or even production-development plans are in place. Audi is evaluating putting the vehicle into production by conducting field tests beginning in the middle of this year.
If the A1 E-tron does go into production, it will do so alongside Audi’s planned E-tron sports cars -- previewed by the E-tron and E-tron Detroit Show Car -- set for introduction in 2012. The E-tron sports car has been approved by parent VW as has Audi’s plan for five-percent of its vehicles to be electric by 2020. Volkswagen also has its own plans to put an electric vehicle on the road by 2014.
Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription required)