Audi may fully intend to build as efficient vehicles as possible but it will not market itself as a green brand, as BMW has done. Audi boss Rupert Stadler said that it will stick to its Vorsprung Durch Technik philosophy and will not have anything that is akin to BMW's Efficient Dynamics marketing scheme. Stadler said that Audi is a "dynamic, sporty brand" that is not necessarily positioned as a green brand.
However, he said that Audi will reduce car weight and will work on improving diesel and FSI technology as well as fuel consumption. He said that Audi will comply with regulations but that Audi is also an "emotional brand."
Stadler said that Audi would only put an electric car on sale if it would be able to give the kind of performance Audi buyers have come to expect. However, he stopped short at announcing if the Audi E-tron will begin production by 2012. Audi has set out to "improve performance of electric cars."
He explains that the company has put an emphasis on this because performance is part of its emotional appeal. In particular, Stadler pointed to the electric power giving Quattro more possibilities, such as powering the rear axle like in the A1 concept, or four wheels in motors like the E-tron.
One thing's for sure, Stadler confirmed that Audi plans to be able to launch a production E-tron in small volumes at the end of 2012.