Audi’s journey into full electrification continues and one of its most important steps along the way will be electrifying one of its smallest and most popular cars. According to Autocar, the current Audi A3 will be replaced with a compact EV by 2027.
There’s no word on exactly what this compact Audi EV will be called but Audi’s chief technology officer Oliver Hoffman told Autocar that this A-segment EV will be “comparable to the A3.” It might still carry the A3 name, just with “e-tron” at the end of it, as that’s sort of been Audi’s electric naming convention so far.
Whatever this electric Audi A3 replacement ends up being called, it’s going to be quite a bit different from Audi’s current crop of EVs. Currently, Audi uses the Volkswagen Group’s MEB and J1 platforms, for cars like the Q4 e-tron and e-tron GT, respectively. However, the EV A3 will be built on VW’s new SSP (Scalable Systems Platform) chassis, which is a big step up from the current MEB.
SSP provides its cars with better modularity for more varied vehicle types, a better center of gravity due to a lower floor height, and it supports 800-volt architecture for faster charging. Hoffman claims SSP will support cars with ranges up to 435 miles, though it’s unlikely the small A3 replacement will have a sizable enough battery for that. VW even developed SSP with solid-state batteries in mind, so while the tech isn’t available yet, it could be in the future.
The electric Audi A3 replacement will come in two flavors: five-door hatchback and four-door sedan. If the past is any indicator of the future, North America will likely only get the sedan. Being an EV, the electric A3 will also be rear-wheel-drive, a first for an Audi A3 model. All of VW’s and Audi’s drive their rear wheels to start, with dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains being optional, so you can expect the same from the A3 replacement as well.
Hoffman didn’t mention further performance models but the natural progression of Audi’s lineup suggests that a sportier “S” model and a high-performance “RS” model will be in the future. So it’s possible we could also see an electric Audi RS3 before the end of the decade.
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