Audi Apollon one of three “Speedboat projects” at VW Group [Update]

The Audi Apollon is one of the three “Speedboat projects” at the Volkswagen Group, CEO Dr. Herbert Diess revealed at the 2021 Annual Media Conference on March 16. The other projects are the Audi Artemis and Volkswagen Trinity. Common to the three is the SSP, the Group’s next revolutionary platform after MEB, and the VW.OS 2.0 vehicle software stack.

At the Audi Annual Press Conference 2021, held on March 18, it was confirmed that the Audi Apollon would be similar to the VW Trinity. When asked what can we expect from this model, Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi, said:

With Artemis, Trinity, and Apollon, we have three approaches to accelerate the development of new vehicles so that the next major technology leap can be achieved. As Markus Duesmann said before, with a different focus in each case, we see a radical shift with software digitalization, connectivity, with a clear focus on strong battery concepts, powerful batteries, and with Apollon, which is a project where Audi and Volkswagen (Volkswagen Passenger Cars), where they collaborate. This will be a sister model for the Volkswagen Trinity that we are going to launch, and as already suggested, in one of the next events of this kind we might be allowed to tell you a bit more about it.

Oliver Hoffmann, BoM member responsible for Technical Development, Audi (Audi Annual Press Conference 2021)

Short for Scalable Systems Platform, SSP will underpin the Audi Landjet, the product said to be the fruition of the Audi Artemis project. This model will debut Volkswagen Group’s VW.OS 2.0 vehicle software stack as well. Previous reports suggest that the VW Trinity project’s EV will follow next, and then the luxury offshoot, Audi Apollon.

Audi Apollon
All models coming from the Speedboat projects will feature VW OS 2.0. Image Source: Volkswagen Group

Peter Mosh, Chairman of the General Works Council of Audi, revealed to German publication Automobilwoche in an interview last month that Trinity is the project for a new vehicle platform. He said:

Trinity will not just be a car but a new platform. Then some models will be built on it, also by Audi. I am very positive that we will then also use this platform at Audi.

Peter Mosh, Chairman – General Works Council, Audi

Markus Duesmann, CEO of Audi, and Dr. Herbert Diess had earlier confirmed that an Audi EV is being developed on Volkswagen’s new platform under the Trinity project. “We’re already docked with Trinity,” Duessmann told Business Insider in a group interview in February. “We are working together on a sister model for Audi. There is a joint project house with Volkswagen, and this is exactly the cooperation within the group that we need,” Diess added to Duesmann’s statement.

Volkswagen Trinity sedan project that would lead to the Audi Apollon
The offshoot of the first VW Trinity-based model is codenamed the Audi Apollon. Image: Volkswagen.

The Trinity project will give a flat, sporty electric sedan that offers Level  4 autonomous driving and sets standards for range, charging speed, and digitalization in 2026. It will be made in Wolfsburg, Germany, and be followed by an Audi offshoot, which is being developed under the Audi Apollon project. While the Trinity is a sedan, the Apollon is expected to be an SUV. However, with SSP underpinning it, it should be much lower and flatter than today’s Audi SUVs.

Like the VW Trinity, the Audi Apollon model may come in few hardware configurations. Technically, all configurations would be quite similar, and differences will be defined through software instead of hardware. It would lead to efficient and simpler manufacturing for the company and the convenience of upgrading to a higher trim or an optional feature package anytime during the vehicle’s life for the customers. The vehicle would have virtually everything on board, and at any point in time, even after delivery, customers may ‘unlock’ them. Moreover, expect Level 2 autonomous driving from the outset, with the capability to upgrade to Level 4 autonomous driving in the future.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, in December 2019, Audi had said that it plans to launch 20 new EVs by 2025. In December 2020, the company said that its EV roadmap is well on track and expects 1/3rd of its annual sales to come from electric vehicles by 2025.

The other project for premium electric vehicles, Artemis, which is now a separate entity, is led by Alex Hitzinger. The car delivered by this team, dubbed the Audi Landjet model, would neither be a ‘Q’ nor an ‘A’ series car. The first preview of the Audi Landjet would be at the IAA 2021 (September), as per reports.

Featured image source: Audi