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Audi Teams Up with SAIC Motor for Next EV Platform

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Amidst transformation in the auto sector, the Chinese car giant collaborates with German expertise to redefine EV innovation.

SAIC Motor, a leading state-owned automaker from China, has officially sealed its partnership with German automotive giant Audi for future electric vehicle (EV) projects. As both companies recognize the dynamic shift occurring in the Chinese auto market, they’re set to pioneer a new age of electric mobility.

Acknowledging the historic transformation in China’s auto market, SAIC Motor expressed its commitment to a joint strategy ensuring future successes in the EV realm. “We will jointly work on a strategic approach that guarantees our future success,” said SAIC Motor in an official statement.

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Recent reports suggest Audi will employ an EV platform from SAIC Motor’s luxury sub-brand, IM Motors. The move arises from Audi’s challenges with its Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) developed under the Volkswagen Group umbrella. However, specifics on whether these EV models will be global or China-exclusive remain unclear.

Cars developed on SAIC’s EV platform, such as the IM Motor L7 sedan and LS7 SUV, are expected to launch in 2025. Their key features include dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrains and high-capacity lithium-ion battery packs, boasting impressive ranges of up to 675km and 660km, respectively.

For context, the IM Motor L7 sedan rivals the BMW i5 in size and even partnered with Williams Advanced Engineering for chassis tuning.

Founded in 2020, IM Motors emerged as a collaboration between SAIC Motor, Zhangjian Hi-Tech, and tech giant Alibaba Group.

Facing stiff competition from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and emerging Chinese firms, Audi’s EV range is currently limited. The Volkswagen Group, to which Audi belongs, has historically developed platforms in-house. However, escalating development costs are driving them to seek external partnerships, evident from their collaboration with Ford and the recent divestment of Bugatti to Rimac.

This collaboration between SAIC Motor and Audi symbolizes the blending of Chinese manufacturing prowess with German engineering brilliance, promising remarkable innovations in the electric vehicle industry.


 

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