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 will be the SSP Platform, the Group’s next revolutionary platform after MEB, and the VW.OS 2.0 vehicle software stack.

At the Audi Annual Press Conference 2021 on March 18, the company confirmed that the Audi Apollon would be similar to the VW Trinity. Answering the question of 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 spawn the VW Trinity first, and then the Audi Apollon. Both models will get the VW.OS 2.0 vehicle software stack as well.

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 in March 2021 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, the CEO of Audi and also the R&D chief of Volkswagen Group, confirmed in February 2021 that an Audi EV on the platform of the VW Trinity is under development. “We’re already docked with Trinity,” Duessmann told Business Insider in a group interview that month. “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,” Dr. 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 internally called the Audi Apollon. Image: Volkswagen.

The Trinity project will give a sporty model that offers Level 4 autonomous driving and sets standards for range, charging speed, and digitalization in 2026. Its production will take place in Wolfsburg, Germany, and the Audi offshoot, the Audi Apollon project, will follow next.

Audi Apollon Design

While the Trinity has traits of a sedan, the Apollon will likely be an SUV. However, with SSP underpinning it, it should be much lower and flatter than today’s Audi SUVs. What’s certain, though not confirmed, is that it will feature the Audi Singleframe. Audi will continue using closed-off Singleframe grilles in its EVs for the foreseeable future. On July 19, 2021, Motor Trend reported that the company plans to use the signature design element even on its self-driving cars. So, the front-end of Audi EVs, or the “electric face,” as Audi designers say, will remain instantly recognizable.

Features

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 at least Level 2 autonomous driving from the outset, with the capability to upgrade to Level 4 autonomous driving in the future.

Landjet to use SSP modules in 2025

Volkswagen Group will use the SSP to its full extent first in the VW Trinity in 2026 and then in its sister model Audi Apollon. However, the company plans to start using the new mechatronics platform partially a year earlier. The Audi Landjet model coming off the Audi Artemis project will see significant usage of SSP modules. It will be the Group’s first model to use SSP modules extensively.

SSP will cover a bigger volume than the PPE and MEB platforms put together by 2030, Duesmann said at Volkswagen Group’s New Auto event in July 2021. The company estimates a sale of more than 40 million EVs based on the SSP platform by the end of its life.

Featured Image Source: Audi