Audi has reportedly approved the design of its high-tech Project Artemis luxury electric car, which it will debut in 2024 as the new flagship of the company. Meanwhile, in September of this year, the company will preview the electric car concept during the Munich motor show.
The Grand Sphere will be one of three concept cars produced by the German automaker next year to exhibit its approach towards vehicles that incorporate level-four autonomous driving technologies.
The final production version of this new concept electric car will replace the A8 saloon as the company's luxury flagship. It is set to be unveiled in 2024, before coming on sale in the first half of the following year.
The Grand Sphere, per Audi design head, Marc Lichte, would be a very tangible teaser of the Artemis project, which would be showcasing a new movement in design with a focus on the vehicle’s interior.
Lichte added that he asked his design teams for something entirely fresh, not for a new version of an A8 successor. The sales numbers for three-box luxury cars like the Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and BMW 7 Series are declining, and newer, more appealing body styles are emerging in the space.
Project Artemis, initially managed as a stand-alone firm, was recently brought entirely in-house. It is charged with creating new platforms and software to support a new generation of entirely electric, autonomous-ready Audi cars.
The Project Artemis is also responsible for creating a long-range grand tourer that could make use of those autonomous technologies, which will initially be accessible only on a set number of routes that have the required infrastructure integrated.
The Project Artemis production car, dubbed Landjet, was planned as a replacement for the A8 and competing with the Mercedes-Benz's new electric luxury limousine, the EQS. The Landjet title highlights the focus of the vehicle’s interior on providing first-class luxury, comparable to that of a private jet.
Audi contemplated using the A9 moniker but has now opted to establish a new naming policy, owing to the radical differences of the new car from conventional saloons and SUVs.