Search CarGuide.PH

July 13, 2023

Is Audi Going To Use A SAIC Platform For Upcoming EVs?

Audi, the carmaker whose tagline is “Vorsprung durch Technik” (Progress through Technology) is seeking to progress its EV plans, by, of all things, buying a platform from a Chinese automaker.

Reuters reports that Audi is in talks with state-owned SAIC Motor to buy an electric vehicle platform. This is after Audi’s EV sales in China have fallen sharply behind those of Tesla and even domestic Chinese premium upstarts like Nio.

Two sources quoted by Reuters say Audi is seeking to use the EV platform owned by SAIC’s EV division, IM Motors.

IM Motors, which started delivery of its first model, the L7 sedan, in 2022, is a premium EV brand controlled by SAIC and its investors include e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

It’s currently unknown whether Audi’s purchase of the EV platform would mean the discontinuation of the IM L7 under SAIC, or if they’ll be involved somehow in platform sharing.

Audi has not bought a platform from another manufacturer before and until now, has used Volkswagen’s EV-dedicated MEB platform for models on offer in China.

Audi offers two EV models—the Q4 E-tron and Q5 E-tron—developed on Volkswagen’s MEB platform in China.

It is currently developing a new EV platform with Porsche called Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that will underpin the Q6 e-tron and Porsche Macan Electric. In China, the PPE platform will underpin cars built from the end of 2024 at a plant Audi is building in China’s northeastern city of Changchun.

For reference, the IM L7 (also known as the Zhiji L7) measures in at 5,098 mm in length, putting it in the large sedan category. Its 3,100 mm wheelbase beats out even some pickup trucks.

The base variant of the L7 already produces 340 horsepower, while the twin-motor setup boosts it to 570 horsepower. A 93-kWh battery pack allows 615 kilometers of range on a single charge. A larger 118-kWh battery is expected soon, and this version will deliver over 1,000 kilometers of range. Regardless of the battery option, there’s an optional 11 kW wireless charging.

More than just grunt, the IM L7 includes cutting-edge technology such as a 39-inch dashboard touchscreen and a 12.3-inch center touchscreen. It also comes with rear-wheel steering too. And speaking of its suspension, it’s tuned by Williams Advanced Engineering.


Feel free to comment or share your views. Comments that are derogatory and/or spam will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to moderate and/or remove comments.