The end of internal combustion-powered Audi models is nigh. Well, ish - the German brand has given us 2033 as the year it’s to stop making things that go suck, squeeze, bang and blow, which is a little further ahead than you might think.
By then, it will have already been three years since the planned petrol and diesel-powered car ban in the UK, and other countries are plotting to phase them out by 2030 too. As part of Audi’s ‘Vorsprung 2030’ strategy, though, there will be moves to curtail ICE products that take effect a whole lot sooner.
As is the case with parent brand VW, Audi has said the only new vehicles it’ll launch from 2026 onwards will be of the fully electric variety. Yep, even hybrids are for the chop. This should be for all-new models only, though, allowing for facelifts of ICE models to come to market after the deadline.
A good chunk of Audi’s current cars are old enough to give time for all-new versions to be squeezed in before 2026, but just because Audi can, doesn’t necessarily mean it will. The E-Tron range of electric cars is expanding quickly, so it’s inevitable that some model lines will simply be culled early to make room.
In terms of the stuff we petrolheads are interested in, it’s already known that the TT has been earmarked for discontinuation. The name may come back, but only for something all-electric that probably won’t be a two-door coupe. The R8 meanwhile faces an uncertain future. It’s never been a huge sales success, and its status as a halo model is under threat. The E-Tron GT is similarly eye-catching, plus Tony Stark’s been seen driving one and it fits far better with the kind of messaging Audi wants out there.
We suspect the current R8 will simply be strung out as long as possible, perhaps to 2026 when Euro 7 emissions standards come in, and then that’ll be it. Press F, etc.
The timeframe might just allow for the launch of a new RS4, given that the base B9 A4 has been kicking around since 2016. The current A6 and RS6 arrived later, though, so we’ll have to stick a question mark at the end of those.
Announcing self-imposed ICE bans is all the rage right now. The pledges from Audi and VW are two of many, with Mercedes, Bentley and Volvo among those targeting the end of combustion activities by 2030. Jaguar is particularly keen, hoping to do this as soon as 2025.