It looks like the Audi A1 moniker could be meeting an early demise when the current lifecycle comes to an end, according to brand CEO Markus Duesmann. The reason for this decision is the upcoming revisions to the European emissions standards.
Speaking to Automotive News Europe, Duesmann stated that the future of the Audi A1 was dependent on the final Euro 7 target. He says “We know that offering combustion engines in the smaller segments in the future will be pretty difficult because the costs will go up. Therefore, we won’t have a successor to the A1. If the new Euro 7 rules are not too harsh, it will allow us to invest more in e-mobility.”
Duesmann’s comments correlate with those made by Renault’s current CEO Luca de Meo who stated that subcompact hatchbacks in these segments would double in price as soon as 2025 due to the rising costs of Europe’s stringent clean-air regulations.
While the Audi A1 may not see a direct replacement, Duesmann confirms that the brand has a clear strategy and framework when it comes to the electrification and digitalisation of its future products. He says, “Our targets for 2026 and 2033 are ambitious steps for us, but they provide a clear view to everybody on what must be done. When it comes to what I’m not happy about, it’s too early to say because we have only just begun.”
He also confirms that, starting in 2026, Audi will only launch new all-electric models on the global market and it wants to phase out the combustion engine by 2033 in all markets except China. Furthermore, the brand’s future powertrain mix will be heavily in favour of electrified examples by 2030.
“We see huge differences between the different regions in the world. We are expecting combustion engines to account for less than 20 per cent in Europe. It will be different in China and in the U.S. I recently spoke to more than 1 000 of our employees during a town hall meeting and remarked how different things were at Audi just 10 to 12 years ago. At that time, no one was predicting that the powertrain mix would change so rapidly.” Duesmann says.