Audi and FAW are forming a new new cooperation company for the future production of PPE-based electric vehicles in Changchun in the northeast of China. AUDI AG and Volkswagen Group China will receive a 60% share, making this company—founded for the local production of fully electric Audi models on the “Premium Platform Electric” (PPE) codeveloped with Porsche—the first cooperation company with a majority interest held by Audi in China.
PPE will take on the role in the world of electric vehicles that the modular longitudinal platform (MLB) holds in vehicles powered by combustion engines. It is characterized by a high-tech and highly scalable architecture that allows both low- and high-floor vehicles to be realized. Audi is developing various model series on the basis of PPE that will cover the segments from the upper medium-size class to the luxury class as SUVs, Sportbacks, Avants and Crossovers with various different vehicle types.
The technology package on the PPE is generally similar to that of the MEB; in addition, it offers great potential in terms of output and performance. As standard, the vehicles are fitted with one electric motor in the rear; the top-of-the-range models are equipped with a second electric motor at the front axle (PSM or ASM) that allows them to activate all-wheel drive automatically when needed.
If will also be possible to realize different performance levels and battery capacities on the PPE platform. As in the Audi e-tron GT concept, the state of charge is 800 volts; in combination with high-efficiency thermal management, it enables a high charging capacity of 350 kW.
The dimensions and overhangs of the low-floor Audi models on the PPE platform will be slightly shorter than those of the current combustion engine models on MLB basis but will offer greater interior length. As is typical for electric models, there are no transmission or center tunnels.
As traditional premium vehicles, the PPE models can be equipped with numerous high-end technologies: In the drive area, torque control takes place via torque vectoring, while the typical Audi features of air suspension or all-wheel steering are provided in the suspension area.
Local manufacture of the first PPE model produced jointly with FAW is scheduled to start by 2024. Changchun is also the headquarters of the joint venture FAW‑Volkswagen, which Audi has been involved in for more than 30 years and, in addition to other locations in China, already produces Audi models locally.
The founding of the new PPE company is officially scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, just as soon as the consent of all stakeholders and the Chinese regulatory authorities has been obtained.
FAW Audi Sales Co., Ltd. will assume responsibility for selling the Audi models produced locally by FAW-Volkswagen as well as Audi import vehicles and future cars produced at the joint PPE plant.
This partnership with FAW will allow Audi to increase the number of locally produced models to 12 by the end of 2021. The models produced by its second partner, SAIC Volkswagen, are set to be introduced in 2022.
Audi has so far delivered almost 7 million vehicles on the Chinese market. In 2020 alone, Audi sold 727,358 vehicles in China, the brand’s best result in more than 30 years of business in the Chinese market.