The all-electric flagship sedan war is about to begin.
If you thought the upcoming Audi e-tron GT was going to be the firm's top-of-the-line all-electric sedan flagship then think again. The e-tron GT, due in 2021, is certainly going to be quite something considering it'll share much of its technology and platform with the Porsche Taycan, but a new report from Autocar has shed new light on Audi's mystery model that's scheduled to arrive in 2024.
That model is the A9 e-tron and it will compete directly against the likes of the also upcoming next-generation Jaguar XJ and Mercedes EQS EVs. Details are still not 100 percent confirmed, but the A9 e-tron will feature the latest in battery-electric drivetrain autonomous driving technologies. It'll also offer owners 5G connectivity, augmented reality, and over-the-air updates.
For now, Audi is referring to the car internally as E6 due to its relatively early development stage. Chances are it'll feature a liftback body style similar to that of the Audi A7 but will have the interior space of the larger A8.
Audi has already assigned the A9 e-tron project to a specialized team dubbed Artemis. This group, led by former Audi motorsport chief Alex Hitzinger, will work directly with Audi engineers and software experts in order to increase productivity and cut out bureaucracy as part of an overall effort by newly appointed Audi CEO Markus Duesmann to restore the brand's status as a technology leader.
Think of the Artemis team as having the combined mentality of a start-up and a motorsport team. It has been tasked with introducing new technologies to the brand in order to stay competitive against the likes of Tesla. Duesmann also mentioned the team is receiving a "large degree of freedom and will work globally."
At the same time, Audi's working relationship with Porsche will continue following the brands' collaboration on the J1 platform, which underpins the Taycan and e-tron GT.
Together, they are developing another new all-electric platform that'll first see duty on the 2022 Porsche Macan. The Artemis team, however, hasn't only been assigned to the A9 e-tron, but also a successor to the A2 and to develop new business models to produce prototypes at a faster rate, increase development time for existing models, and to improve Audi's data collection methods. This will also come in handy by the end of the decade when the Volkswagen Group aims to have 75 electric models on sale.