Audi has signed off the design of the high-tech Project Artemis electric car that will arrive in 2024 as the firm’s new flagship – and will preview it with a concept at the Munich motor show in September.
The Grand Sphere, to be revealed on 2 September, will be one of three show cars that the German brand will produce in the next year to showcase its approach to vehicles equipped with level-four autonomous driving systems (allowing for unsupervised self-driving in certain conditions). The production version will succeed the A8 saloon as Audi’s luxury flagship. It is due to be revealed in 2024, before going on sale early the following year.
Audi design chief Marc Lichte told Autocar that the Grand Sphere will be “a very concrete teaser of the Artemis project” that will showcase “a new revolution in design” with a focus on interior space. He said: “I asked our design teams not for their vision of an A8 successor but for something completely new. [Sales] volumes for three-box saloons such as the A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class are going down, and there are new, more attractive bodystyles.
“Honestly, I think the S-Class has been a lot more successful than our A8, so we have to come up with something completely new to attack the S-Class. This is the result.”
Artemis EV design nearing completion
Initially run as a stand-alone business but recently taken fully in-house, Project Artemis is tasked with developing new platforms and software to underpin a new generation of fully electric, autonomous- ready Audi models.
Project Artemis was charged with developing a long-range grand tourer that would benefit from those autonomous systems, which will initially be available only on a limited number of roads installed with the necessary infrastructure.