Audi can’t reveal what the Landjet, initiated under the Artemis project, is just yet, but can tell us what it’s not. In an interview with Wirtschafts Woche recently, Markus Duesmann, CEO, Audi, revealed new information about the Audi Landjet model.
Duesmann said that “the first from the new Artemis e-car business unit,” rumored to be internally called Audi Landjet, will belong to a “new vehicle category.” It will be neither a large sedan positioned above the Audi A8 (and thus not an Audi A9) nor a large SUV positioned above the Audi Q7. It’s not an “A or Q” series car, Duesmann confirmed.
Audi Landjet to be “a radical new concept”, says the Audi design chief
The Audi Landjet is expected to be a revolutionary product at Audi, and that’s exactly the way Marc Lichte, Head of Design, Audi, describes it. Speaking to caranddriver.com in December 2020, he provided new details on the four-ringed brand’s future flagship EV.
Lichte said that the Audi Landjet would be “a revolution” and “a radical new concept”. The Audi design chief is of course one of the privileged few who have seen the car, and he says that it “looks completely different”.
Artemis project becomes ‘Artemis GmbH’
Two months ago, Artemis changed from a project into an independent company, which should give it more autonomy and ease of operation. It was created in early June last year to fast-track Audi’s Tesla rivals, including the hyped Audi Landjet.
Announcing the new company (on linkedin.com), Alexander Hitzinger, who previously headed the Artemis project, said: “Goodbye VW Autonomy, hello Artemis GmbH!” Hitzinger has been appointed the CEO of Artemis GmbH and the company is in the hunt for engineers and tech experts, it was revealed in the same social media post.
Audi Landjet origins
On November 16, 2020, Volkswagen Group commissioned “three fully electric D-SUV models” to the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Hannover factory. According to a report from German newspaper handelsblatt.com (via Autonews.com) one of the three cars is the rumored Audi Landjet (codename: Audi E6), part of the high-priority Audi Artemis Project.
In August 2020, a report from auto-motor-und-sport.de read that the Audi Landjet won’t be an SUV and was sure that the model was the production version of the Audi Aicon concept in the making. However, Handelsblatt has learned from its sources that the Audi Landjet will be a three-row seven-seat model, which suggests that Volkswagen Group aims to develop a premium alternative to the Tesla Model X.
The Audi Artemis project would be the next major milestone in Volkswagen Group’s electrification journey. Headed by Alex Hitzinger, the project aims to deliver a “pioneering” Audi EV “quickly and unbureaucratically”. The learnings of this project that has speed and agility as pillars, would be implemented in the development of future cars not just at Audi but throughout Volkswagen Group to cut gestation period. Hitzinger formerly headed R&D at VWCV and was even the Senior Vice President of the Group with responsibility for autonomous driving. Seems like the VW Group has found the right man for the job.
A large degree of freedom has been granted to the Audi Artemis project team, and their first task is to create an EV – we call as the Audi Landjet – that can be road-ready as early as 2024. The project could mark the beginning of a new design language and an offbeat bodystyle for outlandish looks that puts Audi back in the driver seat for industry-leading design among high-volume luxury brands. Hitzinger’s motorsport background hints that due attention would be paid to performance and driving dynamics despite the obvious high level of autonomous driving technologies the vehicle would boast.
In July 2020, a report from autocar.co.uk had said that the Audi Landjet could be launched as the Audi A9 E-tron, but now that we know that Audi wants to market it as a new breed of crossover, the speculation of an A9 is out of the picture. Citing industry sources, the report from auto motor und sport had suggested that the team working on the Audi Landjet is inspired by station wagon concepts like the Audi Avantissmo or the Audi Prologue Avant. While the exact body style is not yet clear, the market preference has moved on from station wagons, and at best some inspiration can come from the old concept cars.
The Audi Landjet could be an Audi A7-sized executive coupe (E-segment coupe), but with SUV character attributes, and by that, we don’t mean just the ride height with body enrichment. Designers should be careful not to present a bloated four-door model, but a form that breaks convention, initially that gets criticism but grows on the audience and inspires a new class of vehicle.
Audi is working on a dedicated fast-charging network as well while developing the Landjet, as per a report from spiegel.de. By the time it launches the Landjet, it would have an infrastructure similar to Tesla Supercharger that is exclusive to the brand. Porsche customers will also be allowed to charge at these fast-charging stations eventually. Charging at 350 kW or even higher peak charging power should be possible here.
The Audi Landjet will ride on Premium Platform Electric (PPE) that will debut in the production Audi e-tron GT on the 9th of this month. Co-developed with Porsche, the PPE platform supports RWD and AWD drivetrain layouts, with the latter featuring a second electric motor (PSM or ASM) at the front axle. The state of charge is 800 volts, and so, rapid charging at 350 kW is possible. Hence the Audi Landjet could be fast-charged to 80% capacity in under half an hour.
Volkswagen Group plans to develop the VWCV Hannover car factory into a multi-brand site beginning with the three D-SUVs. The two D-SUVs apart from the Audi Landjet or whichever Audi electric SUV has been allotted to this plant will be Bentley and Porsche platform-mates. The Audi, Bentley & Porsche electric SUVs made in Hannover will be “highly automated”, Dr Carsten Intra, Chairman of the BoM of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said on the day of the announcement where it was confirmed that the first of these SUVs, presumably the Audi electric car, will enter production in 2024.
Audi Landjet concept to debut at Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021)
Last month, a report from automobilwoche.de suggested that the Audi Landjet will debut at the first-ever Munich Motor Show this year. IAA 2021 is scheduled to take place from September 7 to 12. Insiders describe the Audi Landjet concept as a sporty and elegant amalgamation of an estate or an Avant in Audi parlance, and a four-door coupe.
Audi Landjet FAQ
What is the Audi Landjet release date?
2024 is the much-awaited Audi Landjet release date.
What will be the Audi Landjet alternatives?
The Audi Landjet is expected to rival the Tesla Model X with three rows seating 7 occupants.