Audi has announced that it will launch its last new combustion engine in 2026 and from that point onwards will only introduce new EVs.
The accelerated electrification plans were announced by Audi’s CEO Markus Duesmann at the Berlin Climate Conference yesterday as the brand looks to take a lead when it comes to electrification.
The last new combustion engine is likely to be found in the second-generation Q8 – Audi’s flagship SUV, which is also set to be offered with an electric ‘e-tron’ derivative.
By 2026, Audi will only introduce new models that are purely electric, and the production of internal combustion engines will be gradually phased out until 2033.
Despite the days of combustion engines being numbered, Duessmann said that it will continue its efforts and development of engines ‘right up to its discontinuation’ and that ‘Audi’s last combustion engine will be the best we’ve ever built’.
Duesmann spoke out against the increasing number of bans on petrol and diesel cars being introduced by governments around the world. In the UK, there will only be new plug-in hybrids and EVs that can be sold from 2030, and only pure-electric models five years later.
Instead, Duessman said that it should be ‘the success of technology and innovation’ that drives people towards EVs, and said that – despite setting out dates for the switch to electric cars – that the ‘exact timing will ultimately be decided by customers and legislation’.
Audi plans to have more than 20 electric models in its range by 2025, and even this year it will introduce more EVs than combustion-powered models. In 2021 alone, there has been the arrival of the electric e-tron GT and sportier RS e-tron GT, as well as the new Q4 e-tron as a more affordable electric SUV.