We often see outlandish concept cars and have to piece together where companies will take the designs when aspects come to production. Following that convention, we have Audi’s Aicon project, first shown in 2017, and their secretive Artemis R&D division.
Now, according to Autocar, we are hearing that the Artemis team may be working on an all-electric E-Tron model, which very well could be called the A9 E-tron. Meant to be a flagship for not just the Audi line, but also a tent-pole for the entirety of VW, this futuristic car would come out as soon as 2024.
With external dimensions similar to the A7, but a cabin with interior dimensions like an A8, the A9 would do more than just leverage the space-saving elements of electrification. The Artemis vehicle would also use cutting-edge autonomous driving tech, 5G connectivity (with OTA updates and ‘car-to-X features) and new battery cells for a competitive drivetrain.
For a sense of background, what we know of Artemis so far, is that they have been tasked with radical and “bureaucratic” adaptation to competition in the electric car environment. They’re working all around the world, with a great degree of autonomy, with most of VW’s brands.
Artemis’ leader, Alex Hitzinger, has a long list of high-tech credentials. He is the head of VW’s Autonomous car research department, comes from a Formula 1 background, and had been working with Apple to develop a car.
If we connect the dots, it seems like VW and Audi are working on a direct competitor to the Tesla Model S. Right now, many people see Porsche’s Taycan as the closest alternative, but that obviously has more of a performance demographic.
The A9 E-Tron will undoubtedly be a welcomed contender. Surely Artemis has the potential to improve the E-Tron lineup by leaps and bounds if Audi is as serious about electrification as they seem.