First Jaguar, now Audi
Remember Volkswagen's ultra-giga-uber electrification plan? Well, Audi has its own, and it starts with Formula E.
While VW's strategy for making the world a cleaner environment stretches to 2025 and includes (in theory) 30 new electric cars, Audi's intentions include becoming the leading premium carmaker to operate in the field of electric mobility.
According to Audi officials, pulling that off implies that by 2025, "every fourth Audi should be an electric vehicle" and the model leading the way is set to be an SUV – dubbed the Q9 – coming to the market in 2018.
Until that happens, Audi is looking to initially put roots down in Formula E.
"In the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Audi was the first manufacturer to have achieved victories with a TFSI engine, a TDI and a hybrid race car, so writing motorsport history on several occasions. Now we intend to repeat this in fully electric racing. Formula E with its races being held in the hearts of major cities is an ideal stage for this purpose."
Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport
For starters, the company's four-ring logo will be seen on the sides and the rear wings of the ABT Schaeffler FE02 gearing up for the 2016/2017 Formula E season, which counts for a rather shy start, but we're likely to see more from Audi as they adapt their motorsport program.
So far Audi will provide both financial and technical support for the ABT Schaeffler team, but expect a fully-committed appearance in the 2017/2018 season.