German media reports said Audi will cut costs by up to EUR10bn to fund a new line of electric cars.
A Reuters report said Audi plans five new all-electric models, starting with the e-tron sport-utility vehicle (SUV) to be assembled from 2018 in Brussels.
But it wants to keep operating profit margin at minimum 8% a year (H1 2017: 8.9%), two sources told the new agency.
R&D cost cuts would contribute most of the EUR10bn savings, the sources added.
An Audi spokesman declined to comment to Reuters.
The German business daily Handelsblatt also reported the cost-savings target and profitability plans.
Reuters added Audi wants to share a new platform with Porsche, allowing both VW group premium brands to save money by sharing parts and modules, releasing some funds for investments in zero-emission technology.
As the diesel emissions scandal and disputes over strategy post-'dieselgate' continue, sources earlier told Reuters four of the brand's seven top executives were likely to be sacked in the near future. Sources late said dismissals were discussed by supervisory board members last Thursday but a formal decision had yet to be taken.