Audi is Developing an Entry-Level, Mass-Market Electric Hatchback: Report

Audi officials have reportedly promised that a compact electric vehicle—whose concept will debut in a matter of months—is on the way. Design lead Andreas Mindt alluded to the vehicle in an interview at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

"There are a lot of people out there who just want a good looking car, they are not interested if it's an EV or a conventionally powered car—in a couple of months we will show you a first draft," Mindt told Auto Express. "You can design for the early adopters or you can design for the mainstream customer as well—we want to catch both."

"A super sports car that is low and wide is easy to design, like a penalty shot without a goalkeeper but an electric car that is low and sleek is a harder task," continued Mindt. "To make a small car look nice which is cheap for mass production is a very hard task."

Audi's unnamed small EV will be built on the MEB platform designed by Audi's parent company, Volkswagen Auto Group. MEB is an acronym whose German meaning approximately translated to English means "modular electric toolkit." The platform will also underpin all of Volkswagen's mass-market electric vehicles, such as the I.D. hatchback, which will be revealed in production-ready form in 2019. Volkswagen's retro-themed I.D. Buzz electric microbus and the corresponding work van concept are also built on the MEB foundation.

Audi will bring its first mass-produced electric vehicle to market in early 2019 in the form of its E-tron crossover. The Porsche Taycan-based E-tron GT will follow in 2020 and, presumably, the hatchback sometime around then.