Currently reading: Audi and Porsche EVs to possess opposing characters
Audi and Porsche have both been given the go-ahead to develop their own electric car platforms, with the hope the brands can craft their own electric identities

Audi’s plan to develop a new electric luxury saloon raises questions as to why it is not using the same platform that VW Group sister company Porsche is creating for the production version of its electric Mission E sports saloon concept.

Although Volkswagen is undergoing an extensive cost-cutting programme, high-ranking officials have revealed to Autocar that Audi and Porsche have had the go-ahead to develop their own individual electric car platforms in separate research programmes.

Although both Audi and Porsche use a platform with batteries mounted low within the floorpan, they have opted for differing solutions in drivetrain architecture.

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The Audi platform is set to use three electric motors — one mounted up front and two at the rear. Porsche, on the other hand, is pursuing a solution using two electric motors — one at each end. 

The new head of R&D at Porsche, Michael Steiner, acknowledged there could be closer collaboration between the two companies but pointed to the differing characteristics of the EVs being developed by Audi and Porsche as being central to the decision by Volkswagen to allow them to engineer separate platforms.   

“With the Mission E, we have a very sporty expression of an electric car,” he said. “Audi has opted for the high-volume segment.”

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Phil R 2 September 2016

Competition Speeds up Engineering

I remember reading years ago how Piech would always get two teams of engineers to work on projects in order to push the level of engineering higher. Sounds like something similar may be happening here again, which given the potential gains being larger due to the technology being less mature seems very sensible.