Audi May Stop Producing Its Own Platforms After Dieselgate And Possibly Kill R8

As Audi looks to slash costs in the wake of Volkswagen’s dieselgate scandal, it has been revealed that the German marque won’t design and engineer its own platforms anymore.

German magazine Der Spiegel broke the news and reports that Audi’s MLB platform could be the biggest victim of the money saving measures.

The MLB architecture currently underpins all models from the A4 to the A8 and the Q5 and Q7 SUVs and for the next-generation range of models, could be replaced by VW’s transverse MQB and Porsche’s MSB platforms.

This would mean that Audi’s mainstream A4 and A5 ranges could switch from a longitudinal engine layout to a transverse setup based on the VW Passat’s MQB architecture, while the brand’s larger A6 and A7 would move to the MSB platform offering rear-wheel drive (alongside all-wheel drive variants) for the very first time.

This decision could also see the carmaker ditch the mid-engined platform of the R8 supercar, spelling an end to the model as we know it. However, there is a possibility that the third-generation R8 could be based around the Porsche 911.


  • BqWsRe

    The fallout from the VW emissions scandal continues. So much for those “increased sales” stopping the billions in bleeding.

    Say goodbye to Audi too…

  • Benjamin B.

    Don’t you mean Audi will switch to longitude and rwd from transverse and fwd. Sounded like, “would switch from a longitudinal engine layout to a transverse setup while offering rear-wheel drive.” Besides rear- and mid-engined platforms I’ve never heard of a front-engine, transverse-mounted, rear-wheel drive vehicle.

    • pcurve

      Audi A4 engine is mounted longitudinally, which is unusual. The L in MLB actually stands for longitudinal. But I agree, transverse mounted RWD with engine in the front makes no sense.

    • Beelzaboot teriaksun

      two different platforms . the VW platform / FWD based / Transverse for small Audis ( A4, A5) and the Porsche platform /RWD based/Longitudinal for bigger Audis.

      I don’t like it, but it makes sense

  • meatcurry

    If they switch to the Porsche MSB platform, then the engines won’t be transverse, they will stay longitudinal, but mounted further back in the chassis. I guess they could use the Golf platform for entry level A4/6 think Passat, but I doubt it.

  • meatcurry

    Also there’s zero chance the next A8 will be based on the 911, more likely Porsche will have its own mid engine super car by then.

  • AM

    If it would switch to a RWD-AWD Porsche platform, the engine would stay longitudinal.
    Not unless the Porche platform will only be used for the A6 and up, while the A4/A5 and below will use a FWD-AWD VW platform with transverse engines.
    The question is wouldn’t that make the next A4 more A3 like?

    • Beelzaboot teriaksun

      yes it would. Also the A4 would get additional passenger space

  • Filip Mertens

    This has NOTHING to do with dieselgate.

    The one platform strategy has been going on for a few years now.

  • Neil Garratt

    This can only be a good thing as Audi persisting in mounting the engine ahead of the front axle means the handling is always poor compared to BMW, using a different platform will put engine over front axle for better weight distribution. I’m guessing A4 will use the MQB platform (Its not really a platform more of a system so the pedal box, engine, bulkhead and windscreen location/rake are the same but everything else like track and wheelbase is modular) and the A6/A8 will get the MSB platform so could go longitudinal and RWD.

  • Vassilis

    When I read the title I was disappointed but after reading the article, this is great news. I just hope the R8 doesn’t die. It probably won’t.

  • Cobrajet

    The worst thing about this, is why does the A4 and A5 have to use MQB, this will destroy sales.

    • Don’t worry so much. Audi can market them as ‘based on a Superb.’ Problem solved.

      • Tumbi Mtika

        What’s stopping me from getting the Superb then?

  • Kash

    TBH i think Porsche should be developing platforms for all of Audi, it will only make Audi better. Then the R8 should use the Huracan’s platform instead of the 911’s. it makes more sense that way.

  • haudit

    Most customers won’t even notice the difference – do you think that A3 buyers care that their MQB-based car shares its underpinnings with various VWs, Seats and Skodas? Or that A1 buyers give a flying fig about their car sharing the PQ25 platform with the Volkswagen Polo?

    People will continue to buy Audi products in their droves, and that’s exactly what VW is counting on to pull them out of this mess they’ve created.

  • TheBelltower

    None of this sounds awful.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      Because they won’t kill the R8.

      • TheBelltower

        That would be brand suicide.

  • Elmediterraneo

    Mercedes C class : MRA platform = S class, E class, CLS…
    BMW 3/4 series : CLAR platform = 5 series, 6 series, 7 series, 8 series…
    Alfa Romeo Giulia : GIORGIO platform = Maserati Ghibli, Maserati Quattroporte
    Audi A4/A5 = MQB platform = VW Passat, Golf, Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon……. Are you kidding me ?

    If Audi has to drop the MLB, the mid-size cars like the A4 and A5 should rely on the MSB as well, because the SUV’s like the Q5 and the Macan are also based on the A4/A5 specification of the MLB platform.
    Maybe that could increase the costs but don’t forget the A6 has also entry 4 cylinders engines and other brands like Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda could also build a cheaper MQB-based mid-size sedans.
    The Audi A4 and A5 should keep their premium standing to be able to compete against BMW and Mercedes.
    I can’t imagine how he RS4 and RS5 could survive with the V6 on the MQB.
    The best MQB car is the 5 cylinder transversal-mounted Audi TT RS period.

    Then about sports cars the R8 couldn’t rely on the 911 platform because they are more different.
    The 911 is the last car with rear overhang mounted engine. The R8 is a more common and modern rear-mid engine.
    And If you drop the MSS platform (Audi R8) how the hell Lamborghini could continue to make their supercars ?
    The MSS platform should be saved and shared between a Lamborghini, Audi and Porsche.
    Don’t forget that the 718 (rear mid-engine) and the 911 (rear overhang engine) aren’t on the same platform as well.

  • nauticalone

    This story is written in a way that confuses. Needs clarification!

  • Axel Cortez

    The R8 platform is shared with lamborghini I dont see them killing it.

    the MSB can be used from the A4 to the A8 non issue. I dont see audi/porsche using the MQB for the A4/A5/Q5/Macan

  • nunomaiaGMR

    This is probably based on limitations of the MLB for use by Porsche. I recall that Porsche refused to use the quattro system in the Macan preferring their own AWD system. Audi platforms have traditionally been engineered for maximum profit and use of the most possible parts from VW, Seat, etc. This is clearly not good enough for Porsche.
    If true this probably means that at least the A4 will use the transverse platform of the Passat. That is good for more cost saving and it doesn´t matter much for the fleet sales market where the A4 now lives. It also signals that Porsche is now the true competitor of Mercedes and BMW thus downgrading Audi. Which is not really news considering the heavy discounting of Audi cars in the market.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      So Audi will become Skoda.

  • Sébastien

    Noone wants an Audi RWD (except R8), FWD is fine enough if you don’t have the budget for Quattro

    • Tumbi Mtika

      I want a RWD A6. I like the uniqueness of A6 Quattros, but I’ll be fine with an A6 RWD.

  • SteersUright

    Audi/VW need to address their quality and reliability concerns above all. Its tiring to be enticed by their pretty cars with nice interiors and then have electronic and other issues. My friends 2015 Jetta just crapped out its cooling system at 38k miles (no warranty now). My other friends 2015 Gti needed 2 new water pumps at 3k miles. My mom’s 2017 Tiguan just got towed to dealer because gas cap shut itself and she couldnt refuel (a known issue they said). Out Lexus, Honda, and Toyotas, while nowhere near as sexy, never had any issues after years and many hard miles. Don’t even get me started on our BMW’s. So I dont care what platform Audi uses, just get the reliability in check finally.

    Anyone have any experience with Porsche? Are they the same Audi/VW quality & reliability or built to a higher standard?

  • Elmediterraneo

    For Audi, Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini brands I see this solution.
    Obviously I will not waste time with Wolkswagen, Seat and Skoda models which are all MQB based

    MQB : Audi A3, Audi TT
    MSB mid-size spec : Audi A4, Audi A5, Audi Q5, Porsche Macan, Porsche “Pajun”
    MSB full-size spec : Audi A6, Audi A7, Audi Q7, Audi A8, Audi Q8, Bentley Barnato, Bentley Continental, Bentley Bentayga, Bentley Mulsanne, Lamborghini Urus, Porsche Panamera, Porsche Cayenne.
    MSS mid-engine : Audi R8, Lamborghini V10 Huracan’s successor, Lamborghini V12 Aventador’s successor.

  • LexusGXman

    I seem to hate Audi more and more by the day. Just get a Merc.

  • Hansson Craft

    Why is everybody thinking RWD for Audi’s based on MSB. ??
    I think it will mean all Audi’s A6 and above will have MSB 4WD layout, so quattro’s only.
    A4 and A5 on MQB would be the best decision ever made by Audi.
    MLB Audi A4 and A5 are way to have and lack interior space big times, backseat space of a A4 is not more then the A3 backseat space.
    Moving them to MQB give a lot of interior space, and most important 5 cylinder RS4 and RS5 models.

  • Elmediterraneo

    “This decision could also see the carmaker ditch the mid-engined platform of the R8 supercar, spelling an end to the model as we know it. However, there is a possibility that the third-generation R8 could be based around the Porsche 911.”

    And now Porsche is testing a mid-engine on a race car 911…
    A common mid-engine platform for the 911 and Audi R8 ?