Artemis – The Secretive Audi Special Operations Division That’s Working on the A9 E-Tron
Audi’s Artemis group will be responsible for the A9 E-Tron, An Electric A2, and production versions of the AI:Race and AI:Trail 4x4by Robert Moore, on
New word has risen from within the bowels of Audi and, as it turns out, the company has a special operations group, known only as Artemis, that’s dedicated to “developing new business models for rapid prototypeing methods to speed development of existing models as well as data collection.” So, what in the world does that mean? Good question. Word has it that Artemis is busy developing the A9 E-Tron to take on the Mercedes EQS, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg, and there’s apparently a lot going on behind closed doors at Audi HQ.
The Audi A9 E-Tron – What We Know So Far
According to a report published by Autocar, the Audi A9 E-Tron is currently in the early stages of development, but is expected to be ready for launch by 2024. It will take the Mercedes EQS and Jaguar XJ head-on as Audi’s flagship model and will be based on the 2017 Aicon concept.
There’s no telling what the price for such a model might be, but it’s billed as a “technical showcase” for VW Group EVs, so it’s going to have all the bells and whistles that Audi and its parent group can come up with.
The report claims that the A9 E-Tron will have the latest in autonomous driving technology, electric technology, and battery tech, as well as 5G connectivity.
The A9 E-Tron is currently known internally as the E6. The plan is for it to take the form of a four-door coupe (or as Audi says, a “sporting saloon of liftback), and it should mirror the current A7 in terms of exterior dimensions. It’s believed that Audi will manage to make the interior more spacious than that of the A8, though. In the end, after it’s launched, it will serve as a technical showcase for as many as 75 electric cars and 60 PHEVs the companies under the VW Group have in the works. These companies include:
Keep in mind that this is part of VAG’s €60 billion electrification strategy that is set to run through the decade. As far as Audi is concerned, the A9 E-Tron will serve as just one of up to 20 all-electric vehicles that will sit next to as many as 10 PHEVs.
What is Artemis to Audi?
Artemis isn’t some sub-brand or and stand-alone group.
It’s actually apart of Audi – a special operations division of sorts and is tasked with helping Audi reclaim its reputation for technical leadership
. It will, apparently, operate hand-in-hand with Audi’s regular development department, engineers, and software experts to “quickly and unbureaucratically create technologies for electric and highly automated driving.”
According to Audi Chairman, Markus Duesmann, the aim of Artemis is to “emulate the inherent agility and speed of execution of rival electric start-up brands and leading motor racing teams.” Artemis has, apparently, been given a lot of freedom and is working on a global scale. Key contributors reportedly include Audi’s InCampus technical hub and VAG’s new software.org operation.
”The current electric car initiative ties up all our capacities. The question is how can we implement additional high-tech benchmarks without jeopardizing the manageability of existing projects and at the same time utilize new opportunities in the market.”
Artemis Isn’t Exactly New
This is the first time that you’re probably hearing about Artemis, but you’ve seen the group’s work in the past. The group worked hand-in-hand with the guys over at Porsche in developing the J1 platform that supports both the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT.
Artemis also has its hands in the development of the PPE structure, a special platform that will make its debut with the electric version of the second-gen Porsche Macan in 2022.
The group is, reportedly, going to work even closer with Porsche in the coming years, so who knows what the future holds. Audi needs to stay competitive, and with brands like Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid all making a splash (and let’s not forget about the Chinese electric startups) Duesmann see’s Artemis as vital for the company’s long-term growth.
What Comes After The Audi A9 E-Tron?
Artemis is here to stay, and it won’t just fizzle away into the void when the A9 E-Tron is launched. The group has been billed with advancing Audi’s other plans too. This includes existing projects and a new high-tech successor to the original Audi A2 – something we first saw in the 2019 AI:ME Concept car.We could also see production versions of the AI:Race electric sports car and the AI:Trail 4x4 if the people behind Artemis have their way.