Given the high costs of developing car platforms, most brands would settle for one strong EV base on which to build cars. Audi has access to four.
There's the heavily modified MLB Evo+ platform, which the E-tron SUV and its forthcoming E-tron Sportback sibling are built on. There's the J1 architecture, developed by Porsche for the Taycan, and being used for the forthcoming E-tron GT halo car. It has access to the Volkswagen Group's pivotal MEB bespoke electric platform, which will underpin future volume Audi EVs. And it's developing the premium PPE architecture for future upmarket electric models, such as the planned A5-sized Sportback.
Audi is the kid that can play with the entire toy box, with a wealth of resources that the marque’s rivals must envy, enabled by the ability of the Volkswagen Group to invest vast resources across its roster of brands.
Audi doesn’t need to choose between developing a base for high-performance or mass-market EVs: it can have both, taking the former from Porsche, and the latter from Volkswagen.
The breadth offers by those multiple platforms gives the brand a real edge over both established rivals aiming to develop their own electric platforms and the growing ranks of EV start-ups.
The challenge, of course, is ensuring that it can offer a consistent, coherent model line-up across those four platforms. And there's the question of whether Audi can make its MEB-based models different enough from those of Volkswagen, Skoda and Seat to be able to justify asking buyers to pay a premium.
But given that Audi has been juggling a similar range of cars on the VW Group's MQB and MLB platforms for years, without struggling to win over premium buyers, meeting those challenges is something it should be well-versed in.