What about the super-secret Project Artemis? Read on.
The design resemblance between Audis and Volkswagens was too similar for too many years. Even within Audi, the German luxury brand had a "Russian doll" look amongst its vehicles. That's all in the past and Audi's current design chief Marc Lichte is to thank. The entire Audi lineup has never looked better because there's now a clear design theme that goes beyond the large grilles. Bold character lines, strong rear shoulders, and wider more planted stances are now the norm. The upcoming Audi e-tron GT all-electric sedan, which just began production, is perhaps the best example.
Speaking to Car and Driver, Lichte confirmed the concept version we saw two years ago at the LA Auto Show (and pictured here) is 99 percent the final version. There's a reason why: Audi basically decided to show the production car, though with just a few slight changes.
"I took out the e-tron GT, the production car, and we had a look at it. Usually, for a show car we put bigger wheels on. We chop down a little bit of the roof, and we make the track a little bit wider. So we stress everything. We took a look at our production cars and said, 'Why should we change this car?'" Lichte said. Even the concept's interior is 95 percent production-ready. In fact, Lichte acknowledged the dual-display currently found in the A7 and A8 will appear in the e-tron GT.
Despite sharing the modular Premium Platform Electric (PPE) setup with the Porsche Taycan, the e-tron GT has its own distinct styling attitude, thanks to the Lichte. In addition to this EV, the German designer is also working on the super-secret Project Artemis. Due in 2024, this all-electric autonomous vehicle "will be a revolution," Lichte said.
Audi has been tasked with developing this vehicle and its platform as part of a larger VW Group effort to surpass Tesla in key categories, including batteries, autonomous driving, and design. Lichte's role is therefore essential.
"We will come up with a radical new concept. This car looks completely different," he added. Because this will be a self-driving car without the need for typical driver controls, Lichte and his team have newfound freedom to push design boundaries. The interior's layout will be completely different and the exterior will be another departure from the existing lineup. Consider us highly interested.