Audi to build rugged 2025 e-Tron 4x4

Audi to build rugged 2025 e-Tron 4x4

Design boss Marc Lichte reveals Audi’s plans for an electric G-Class rival.

By Jake Groves

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Audi’s ActiveSphere concept is to be the basis of a new production model designed to rival Merc’s EQG, as well as the inevitable electric Defender. ‘I’m a big fan of really rugged SUVs,’ says Audi design head Marc Lichte. ‘There’s potential for us because there are only two premium players – I think there’s space for a third.’


Just like everything else electric inbound from Audi, the e-Tron 4x4 will use the PPE architecture. ‘If you look to the VW Group, there will be a really rugged SUV platform in the future – and I’m not talking about the one with Ford,’ says Lichte, hinting the production car will share the same structure as the new Scout SUV.

Audi to build rugged 2025 e-Tron 4x4


Lichte says that some of the ActiveSphere’s details will make it into production, including the flared wheelarches and toothed side sills. ‘With our history of quattro and rally successes in the ’80s and ’90s, it will not look like a copy of the Defender, I can promise you,’ he exclusively tells CAR.


Audi’s 4x4 will most likely be on sale by 2026. However, Lichte is keen to point out how rapidly the e-Tron GT was crafted, using the Porsche Taycan as its starting point. ‘It was the fastest development, and the cheapest, in our history.’ So maybe Lichte and his team will pull another fast one with a rough ’n’ ready electric 4x4.

The most rugged Audi SUV ever will be electric-only


  • Powertrain 100kWh (est) battery, twin e-motors, all-wheel drive
  • Chassis Steel and aluminium monocoque
  • Due 2025

Audi to build rugged 2025 e-Tron 4x4

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