One hundred and fifty years is quite a milestone for Audi’s Neckarsulm factory in Germany. Originally a site for building knitting machines, then vehicles under NSU Motorenwerke, the factory has been constantly evolving, and was the first site in Germany to build a full electric vehicle, the Audi e-tron GT.
To celebrate the historic achievement, and in a fitting connection between its past and future, Audi commissioned some of its trainees from the automotive mechatronics, bodywork, and vehicle construction mechanics and painting courses to come up with a concept EV fitting for the occasion, and boy, did they ever.
The EP4 (Electric Prinz 4) is based on a 1971 NSU Prinz 4, and while it retains plenty of the original bodywork, everything underneath has been brought up to the 21st century. Instead of its original rear-mounted original two-cylinder gasoline engine that developed a paltry 30 hp, the junior engineers plopped in a 240 hp electric motor from a 2020 Audi e-tron, powered by a battery from the plug-in hybrid Audi Q7 TFSI e-quattro.
With such a big jump in horsepower, the little car had to be retrofitted to make sure it could handle it. Changes include a modified floor pan from an Audi A1 – including brakes and axles – and added fenders that were produced by 3D printing to accommodate larger wheels and tires.
As the original Prinze 4 cars were raced, this EP4 is kitted out in full motorsport attire. The large rear wing is actually attached to the roll cage instead of the bodywork, and the interior is minimal with race-inspired Recaro Podium bucket seats.
Of course, there are no plans to produce the EP4 for the public, unfortunately. But the trainees gained valuable insight and experience in putting this concept together. And I think we can all agree that they have pretty cool jobs.