• The Audi Landjet Will Lead the Way Into The Tech-Filled Autonomous Future

A new, premium electric vehicle is being developed to make a run at Tesla

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As we prepare to close 2020 and welcome in 2021, it’s time to start familiarizing ourselves with a name that could dominate the headlines in the upcoming year. The name is “Landjet,” and it is the internal codename of a new flagship electric vehicle that the Volkswagen Group is developing for a lot of its brands.

Yes, the Landjet isn’t limited to a single make or manufacturer; it’s being developed as an all-encompassing premium zero-emissions vehicle for Audi, Bentley, and Porsche. Different versions of the Landjet — depending on the automaker — will come out, though all versions will ride on the same modular PPE platform that Audi and Porsche developed for large vehicles.

What’s Project Artemis?

The Audi Landjet Will Lead the Way Into The Tech-Filled Autonomous Future High Resolution Exterior
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Before we dive into the Landjet program, it’s important to establish what the Volkswagen Group’s overarching plans are. For that, we need to turn our attention to Project Artemis.

Project Artemis is a long-term plan created by the Volkswagen Group that’s geared towards EV domination in the future, and by future, we mean 2024. Leading this project is Alexander Hitzinger, who some of you might recognize for his contributions in developing the Porsche 919 hybrid race car that dominated Le Mans from 2015 to 2017. Hitzinger moved to Apple shortly thereafter to help the tech giant with its own autonomous car ambitions, but now, Hitzinger is back with the Volkswagen Group to lead Project Artemis and create a brand-new, built-from-the-ground-up electric vehicle that will compete against the titans of the segment, specifically Tesla.

That yet-to-be-identified vehicle — or vehicles, in this case — still doesn’t have a name, but it does go by an internal codename: Landjet.

What do we know about the Landjet so far?

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To say that the Volkswagen Group has a lot riding on the success of Project Artemis and the Landjet EV isn’t doing justice to the enormity of the entire project.

Basically, Volkswagen is pushing all of its EV chips on the table with a vehicle that will be used by three of the conglomerate’s most famous — and you can argue, most important — brands: Audi, Porsche, and Bentley.

That’s probably the biggest misconception people have of the Landjet; it’s not an EV model for a single car marker, but rather, a vehicular program that will be built on Volkswagen’s modular PPE platform and will be offered in three distinct styles from the three aforementioned auto brands. Audi will have its own spin on the Landjet. So will Porsche and Bentley.

The Audi Landjet Will Lead the Way Into The Tech-Filled Autonomous Future High Resolution Exterior
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No one from the Volkswagen Group has given any indication on what kind of vehicle the Landjet will be. The only thing we keep hearing — repeatedly, too — is that it will be a “revolution,” as if that’s not vague enough.

Nevertheless, the decision to use the PPE architecture offers some clues on that matter. The architecture was jointly developed by Audi and Porsche to serve as a platform for big vehicles. There have been whispers, too, that the Landjet will have three rows of seats in its cabin. That suggests that we’re looking at a minivan or an SUV. A sedan is also possible, though it’s hard to imagine a three-row sedan that doesn’t compromise the traditional proportions of, well, a sedan.

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If you are wishing for it to be the latter, the 2017 Audi Aicon Concept comes to mind as s potential springboard for your imaginations. It was presented as a premium electric sedan with level 5 autonomy, and while it only had a 2+2 layout, it’s length — it measured 17.9 feet long — makes a three-row interior setup possible.

When can we expect the Landjet to arrive?

The Audi Landjet Will Lead the Way Into The Tech-Filled Autonomous Future High Resolution Exterior
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The Volkswagen Group has set a 2024 launch date for the Landjet. Since Audi is leading the ambitious project, it’s likely that the first version of the premium EV will wear the four rings badge.

Bentley and Porsche versions will follow suit, though it’s unclear if these models will be launched around the same time as the Audi EV or further down the road.

These launch dates aren’t going to happen anytime soon, though, so instead of focusing on those, it’s best to be aware of where the project is at the moment. According to Car and Driver, the Landjet is currently in progress in the design studio of Martch Licthe, Audi’s head of design. Licthe didn’t dive into any specifics, but he did say that the exterior will be different from any Audi we’ve seen before. Likewise, the Landjet’s interior layout will also be dramatically different. For now, that’s the extent of it.

The Audi Landjet Will Lead the Way Into The Tech-Filled Autonomous Future High Resolution Exterior
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That said, we should expect to hear more — a lot more! — about Volkswagen’s Project Artemis program and the Landjet that’ll come out of it in 2021. It’s too big of a deal to be kept under sheets until 2024, especially with all these talks saying how “revolutionary” the car is going to be.

We’re excited to find out if the hype is all that. But for now, we’ll stick and wait for further news and developments.

Source: Car & Driver

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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