“Porsches will still be Porsches.”
Audi and Porsche are going to work together on a new shared vehicle architecture fit for 2025: it will be electrified, digitised and ready for autonomous driving. And because “the best brains of both companies will together set the technical course for the future,” much is expected of the new vehicle platform.
However, Porsche AG chairman Oliver Blume is keen to dampen down any worries that the Porsches of the future are going to become mere Audi clones. “We will… be very careful to maintain the differentiation between our brands. A Porsche is always a Porsche, and that will remain so for the future.”
In a joint statement, the two companies said the roadmap for areas of cooperation will be defined in the coming weeks. The aim is to jointly develop vehicle architectures, modules and components ready for 2025; each area of collaboration will be jointly developed by a representative from both Audi and Porsche.
Details of which models will use the new joint architecture are scant, but it may involve the all-new, all-electric platform created for the upcoming Porsche Mission E. First seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2015, the firm plans to put the 600-horsepower electric supercar into production by 2020 – but even for a brand as profitable as Porsche, creating a futuristic all-new platform just for itself would be a stretch.
It is likely Audi is now joining the project to spread investment and speed up development. Audi’s digital expertise through its close working relationship with companies such as Nvidia is considerable, and Audi is also well advanced in the area of autonomous vehicles. It would also allow Audi to belatedly release a successor to the R8 e-tron.
The joint venture may have broader applications, too. Audi is believed to be reviewing its platform strategy and could base the future Audi A4 on a variant of the MQB platform used by the Golf in the future. This would create the opportunity to develop an all-new future-proof platform for large cars, one that could also be scaled for use in future Porsches such as the Panamera. Hence Blume's desire to stress Porsches will always remain Porsches?