The Volkswagen Group is working on a new flagship electric vehicle that currently goes by the “Landjet” internal codename. Audi is leading the ambitious engineering project as part of the Project Artemis plan to take the German conglomerate’s EV push to the next level. Car and Driver sat down and had a chat with the man in charge of Ingolstadt’s design, Marc Lichte, to learn more about the mysterious zero-emissions car.
“Landjet” is being developed to cover long distances without the need for human input, which can only mean we should be expecting a large battery pack and an advanced autonomous driving system. Forget about Audi’s current designs as Lichte said the styling will be “completely different,” adding the vehicle “will be a revolution.”
As usual when talking about VAG products, Landjet is being prepared to accommodate more than just a single badge. Other than carrying the Four Rings, the tech-laden EV will allegedly spawn Bentley and Porsche versions for a vehicle that will ride on the modular PPE architecture jointly developed by Audi and Porsche for big vehicles.
Rumour has it the car “Landjet” will have three rows, which would typically imply either an SUV body style or an MPV. However, it might actually be a saloon if the reports are accurate, much like the Tesla Model S. Bespoke EVs are in virtually all cases more spacious inside than a similarly sized vehicle equipped with a combustion engine, so a three-row saloon can be done without exaggerating the proportions to fit that third row.
Gallery: Audi Aicon Concept
While the styling remains a complete mystery at this point, the 2017 Aicon concept did portray a high-end electric saloon with a level 5 autonomous driving system. It only had a 2+2 layout, but you could probably install three rows of seats given its sheer size as it was a whopping 5.44 metres (17.9 feet) long.
Mirroring the Landjet’s rumoured long-range capabilities, the Aicon was also envisioned as the ideal companion for an extended trip. When Audi unveiled the concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, it promised a range of up to 800 kilometres (497 miles).
It’s too soon to say whether the Aicon’s specs will rub off on the Landjet, which is scheduled to come out in 2024. It’s certainly going to be a long wait as the design hasn’t been finalised yet, so there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. Once it’ll be ready to hit the assembly line, VAG’s electric crown jewel could be put together at the Hannover factory in Germany where it builds the Amarok pickup truck and the Transporter van.