Automobile: The Fate of the Next Audi A4 Has Been Decided—It Stays a Proper Audi


The Fate of the Next Audi A4 Has Been Decided—It Stays a Proper Audi

Plus details on an RS e-tron halo car, and which models Audi may kill.

On July 1, the first working day of former BMW exec Hildegard Wortmann, the new Audi AG board member in charge of sales and marketing, the product strategy committee (PSK) finally decided on the future of the next Audi A4, which we expect in 2022 or 2023. The project, codenamed B10, had just been spat out by the corporate grinder for the final time. Almost two years ago, the consensus to derive the marque’s most critical new product from its MLB architecture was unanimous. It was clear then that Audi needed the R&D work, the motivation, and the production volume only MLB could provide.

But then the diesel scandal happened, and cost-cutting became the number-one priority across the board. The bean counters moved heaven and earth to switch the A4 model from Audi’s own longitudinal-engine MLB to VW’s transverse MQB matrix. Even though this move could have potentially saved in excess of more than $1 billion over the A4’s life cycle, a concerted effort that leaned on goodwill, advance trust, and brand identity saved the MLB version. It’s still over budget but perhaps the lesser of two evils…

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