There are many benefits of being part of the Volkswagen Group. Not only is there a solid parent company but also the ability to work on joint projects with other brands. Case in point: Porsche and Audi. Reuters reports the two premium performance and luxury brands are joining forces to develop a next generation electric vehicle platform. Assuming all goes to plan, the first EVs riding on this architecture will be ready to go for 2021. The reason for the partnership is, as you’ve probably already guessed, cost related.
The jointly developed architecture will save both Porsche and Audi significant sums. “If both would act on their own, costs would be 30 percent higher,” Porsche CEO Oliver Blume said. Audi is planning to hire 550 developers for the project and Porsche 300. So, what will specific vehicles will each brand respectively build on this EV platform? For starters, no, it won’t be a 911 EV, unless Porsche changes its mind at a later date. Audi has plans to build two sedans and two SUVs. Porsche meanwhile remains mum on details, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this platform underpinning similar vehicles to what Audi has planned.
Blume believes Porsche’s factory in Leipzig, Germany is a strong contender for where the first EV will be assembled. Right now, Leipzig builds the Cayenne, Macan and Panamera. The upcoming production spec Mission E, however, is slated to be built at Porsche’s Stuttgart manufacturing facility, which will see an additional 1,400 employees hired for the task. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Porsche planning a smaller, more affordable all-electric sedan to rival the Tesla Model 3, as well as a compact SUV, roughly the size of the Macan. Both Porsche and Audi are very much laying the groundwork for an EV future, but don’t assume gasoline-engined vehicles, such as the 911, will be completely eliminated, at least not yet.