Smallest Audi EV will be built in Ingolstadt, VW ID.3 not in Wolfsburg

Audi will produce its new entry-level electric model, announced around a year ago, at its headquarters in Ingolstadt. Gernot Döllner, Audi’s CEO, said as much at a staff meeting at the main plant. The new EV sits below the Q4 e-tron.

Its much bigger brother, the Q6 e-tron, is already rolling off the production line at Audi’s main plant and will be presented on 18 March. Audi’s first electric saloon, the A6 e-tron, will come from Ingolstadt and sit on the same PPE platform.

“With the Q6 e-tron and A6 e-tron family, e-mobility is coming from Ingolstadt for the first time this year. The Q6 e-tron, based on the new Premium Platform Electric, is Audi’s next technological leap in electric mobility. In the medium term, we will also produce another purely electric model at the site,” Döllner is said to have told around 5,500 employees at the plant, according to the German specialized magazine Automobilwoche.

ID.3 offshoot for Audi?

From 2028, the Audi ‘mother plant’ will only build electric cars. There is not yet much information on that entry-level electric model. Döllner’s predecessor, Markus Duesmann, confirmed plans for a new model below the Q4 e-tron in March 2023. However, as Döllner has discarded some of Duesmann’s plans and has been quiet about the entry-level model until his most recent statement, its future has been unclear until now.

According to information from Automobilwoche, Audi’s new entry-level electric model will be positioned in the compact segment and have dimensions similar to those of the current Audi A3. “Audi is working on a new body concept. Volkswagen’s MEB modular system, which already provides the architecture for the previous electric entry-level Q4 e-tron, is to be used as the platform,” the article states.

The MEB or the further development of MEB+ would instead advocate an early market launch. If Audi were to wait for the VW Group’s upcoming SSP, it would certainly delay the compact electric car too much, and in Ingolstadt, they’re getting allergic to delays.

A2 e-tron and Q2 e-tron

The current A3 is 4.34 meters long as a five-door model. It makes the ICE-powered A3 around eight centimeters longer than the VW ID.3, an existing compact model based on the MEB platform. What is meant by the ‘new body concept’ is still unclear. Like all MEB model series, the model will likely be slightly taller for technical reasons. Audi may want to utilize this with a new space concept to increase the utility value.

The smallest Audi EV will not have a ‘3’ in its name. In the new Audi numeric nomenclature, the odd numbers are intended for the combustion models, while the electric models have even numbers. As the ‘4’ has already been assigned, the compact model will likely be launched as the Audi A2 e-tron or, with an SUV focus, as the Q2 e-tron.

VW ID.3 not in Wolfsburg

Regarding VW’s first ID model, Volkswagen has announced that it will continue to build the ID.3 exclusively in Saxony, not in the Wolfsburg main plant, as demand remains too low.

Initially, VW envisioned the recently facelifted  ID.3 to be built in Zwickau and Dresden and at the main plant in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. However, on Friday, a VW spokesperson said the ID.3 assembly at the main plant planned for the summer had been canceled again.

“At the end of the day, every euro that we don’t have to spend counts,” said Christian Vollmer, Member of the Board of Management for Production, explaining the decision in an interview. “For this reason, we have decided to continue to bundle the volume of the ID.3 in Zwickau and to utilize the already fully scaffolded site effectively.”

VW had to cancel shifts at its EV-only site in Zwickau in late 2023, quoting low demand. Last year, VW delivered 140,800 ID.3 cars. Canceling additional production in Wolfsburg was good news for Zwickau, said Vollmer. However, the existing ID.3 assembly line in Dresden, where the vehicle is also being built in small numbers, is unaffected. Assembly there will continue.

The Volkswagen ID.3, facelifted last year, won’t be built in VW’s main plant in Wolfsburg /Volkswagen


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