Audi Q4 e-tron on the way, RS e-tron GT unconfirmed for the North American market so far.
Mid-cycle refresh for A4, A5 and Q5 lines.
All-new Audi A3 on the way.
The switch to fully electrified powertrains is under way at Audi, while plug-in hybrid variants are spreading across several of the brand’s model lines. And now, we’re seeing more and crossover models in the company’s lineup as well.
With a wide range of cars and utility vehicles already available, Audi is heading into the 2021 calendar year with some new electrified models, even high-performance ones. Here’s what to expect from Audi in 2021.
First and foremost, the Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback will be new crossovers in the brand’s lineup, and it will feature a fully electric powertrain producing 302 horsepower, along with a 82-kWh battery pack good for an estimated range of 280 miles (450 km) using the European WLTP standard. Look for the new Q4 in the summer of 2021.
Also new is the Audi RS e-tron GT, a five-door fully electric car that shares mechanical components with the Porsche Taycan. It will boast an output of 582 horsepower, or 637 horsepower with an overboost function, yielding 0-100 km/h blasts in less than 3.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 240 km/h. Production is under way and the first units should be delivered to European customers in 2021. No word yet for the North American market.
The Audi A3 is the brand’s most affordable entry in the North American market, and although an all-new generation has been unveiled in Europe, the U.S. and Canada will get it as a 2022 model. Our version of the A3 should be equipped with a turbocharged 1.5L four that develops approximately 148 horsepower, while the new S3 should feature a turbo 2.0L four good for 306 horsepower. As before, the North American market will likely get the A3 sedan, but not the five-door Sportback.
A mid-cycle refresh has been applied to the Audi A4 and Audi A5 lines for the 2021 model year. In addition to minor styling revisions, new technology and driver assistance systems have been added, along with a 12-volt mild hybrid system, raising output of the 40 TFSI turbo 2.0L four-cylinder engine from 188 to 201 horsepower, and the 45 TFSI 2.0L engine from 248 to 261 horsepower. Alongside the A4 sedan and A4 allroad wagon, the A5 range once again consists of the two-door coupe, the convertible and the five-door Sportback. The S4 and S5 variants are still equipped with a turbo 3.0L V6 developing 349 horsepower, while the RS 5 coupe and Sportback get a twin-turbo 2.9L V6 good for 444 horsepower.
The Audi A6 and Audi A7 lines were redesigned for the 2019 model year, so they’re still very new. However, the A6 range has been expanded in North America to include the A6 allroad and RS 6 wagons, while the A7 range now offers a new-generation RS 7 Sportback. The 2021 A6 gets more standard features and increased availability of driver assistance systems, and keeps its 248-horsepower, turbo 2.0L four. Ditto for the A7, but its standard powertrain is a mild hybrid turbo 3.0L V6 with 335 horsepower, while a 362-hp PHEV variant is available. The S6 and S7 come with a twin-turbo 2.9L V6 developing 444 horses, while the RS 6 and RS 7 boast a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 which generates 591 horsepower.
The flagship Audi A8 is yet again offered in North America in long-wheelbase configuration only, and has been enhanced with more standard features and revised option packages. The A8L as it’s called in our market offers three engine choices including a 335-horsepower 3.0L V6, a plug-in hybrid system with a combined output of 443 hp and a twin-turbo V8 with 453 hp. The performance-infused Audi S8 serves up a 563-horsepower 4.0L V8.
The Audi Q3 gets minor changes for the 2021 model year, including a Parking Assistance package with a 360-degree camera system and park steering assist, in addition to a Black Optic appearance package and Navarra Blue paint. The recently announced plug-in hybrid powertrain, the coupe-like Q3 Sportback and the performance-minded RS Q3 won’t be offered in North America for now.
The brand’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. and Canada, the Audi Q5 gets a mid-generation refresh for the 2021 model year, with minor styling revisions as well as a turbo 2.0L four that produces 261 horsepower. There’s also a 362-hp plug-in hybrid variant, while the SQ5 keeps its turbocharged 3.0L V6 with 349 horsepower. Meanwhile, the coupe-like Audi Q5 Sportback is new for the 2021 model year.
The Audi Q7 and Audi Q8 crossovers have recently been blessed with new SQ7 and SQ8 editions, which are equipped with a 500-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.0L V8. There’s also the thunderous RS Q8 with its 591-horsepower variant of the eight-cylinder engine. The Q7 gets a 248-hp turbo 2.0L four as standard and an optional 335-hp mild hybrid turbo 3.0L V6, while the latter is included in the Q8.
As is the case with the Q5, the Audi e-tron crossover is now available in a coupe-like e-tron Sportback variant. Both are equipped with a fully electric powertrain that produces 402 horsepower. Thanks to various improvements, the driving range has been increased in the e-tron for 2021. It’s unclear if the new 496-hp e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback editions will make the trip to North America.
Finally, minor equipment changes and option package reshuffling mark the 2021 model year of the Audi TT, which is reaching the end of its production cycle. As for the Audi R8, it will lose its 5.2L V10 engine and add RWD versions to its coupe and Spyder lines, in addition to a R8 RWD Panther Edition coupe, as the sun is also setting upon the brand’s supercar. Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but the two sports cars could return as fully electric models.