Audi’s brand new electric A9 has been anticipated for quite some time now. The German automaker’s response to the Tesla S has long been rumored to appear by 2020. However, the most recent reports suggest that it might also hit the market sometime in 2018. Although it was originally intended as a coupe, Audi eventually opted for an electric sedan instead. The new Audi A9 will be based on the 2014 Prologue concept, while sharing its electric drivetrain with the upcoming Q6 E-tron SUV. In addition to these two models, Audi is soon to launch the A3 E-tron as part of the efforts to release three electric vehicles by 2020.
Design and Features
In terms of proportions, the Audi A9 will be similar to the A8 or slightly longer. The Prologue concept will influence not only the A9’s exterior styling but the future design of other Audi models including the A6, A7 and A8. So, expect its front end to be dominated by a large, trapezoidal grille with a horizontal theme, with the four-ringed Audi badge sitting at its center. The headlights will be much like those seen on the Audi TT or A4, featuring angular LED daytime running lights graphics. When it comes to the overall shape, expect the new A9 to sport a sleek design with plenty of sharp lines, as well as a unique swooping roofline and a handsome rear end.
Inside, the Audi A9 is likely to adopt some of the high-tech features that made their debut in the company’s recent concept vehicles. So, the A9’s interior could benefit from a version of Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit. It comes with a staggering number of tech features. Some of those include the ability to communicate directly with the driver and passengers through their smartphones. Design-wise, we expect the A9 to feature a minimalistic styling approach with very few visible buttons. The systems and features will be controlled mostly by one of three touchscreens available in the cabin. Those can be remote by using smartphones or through voice commands.
Audi A9 Specs
The Audi A9 will be powered by a version of the electric powertrain first showcased in the E-tron Quattro concept. The system will comprise three electric motors, including one at the front powering the front wheels and two in the back to motivate the rear axle. The power will be stored in a liquid-cooled 95-kWh battery. It will be transmitted to all four wheels through a drive management system that splits the torque depending on grip levels.
Exact output figures are not known yet but the production-ready A9 is likely to get similar ratings as the E-tron Quattro concept. It had 429 horsepower in its standard variant and 496 horses when using the Sport mode. Some sources suggest that the A9 might go on sale with a less powerful drivetrain making under 400 hp and a more potent version that churns out around 600 ponies. In that case, Audi’s new electric sedan will be able to rival the Model S that is currently offered with outputs ranging from 382 to 762 hp. According to official sources, the A9 will feature a range of up to 311 miles and a top speed reaching 155 mph.
Audi A9 Price
Official pricing figures for the Audi A9 are still unavailable but we expect it to become one of the brand’s most expensive models, with a price tag well above $100,000. Apart from the well-known Tesla Model S, the all-electric A9 will compete against the upcoming Porsche Mission E which is also expected to arrive by 2020.