Problems at Volkswagen Group's Cariad software division could delay key new electric cars from Audi, Porsche and Bentley.
According to Automobilwoche, which cites unnamed sources, Audi's new flagship—developed under the Artemis project—will not launch until 2027, three years later than initially planned.
The sources also said that Bentley's plan to sell only battery-powered cars by 2030 is looking doubtful, while Porsche's new electric Macan and Audi Q6 e-tron sister model are threatened with delays as well. Both are supposed to launch next year.
The report claims Cariad is far behind schedule in its development of new software for the models. The Volkswagen Group subsidiary was supposed to launch a 2.0 software generation capable of hands-off Level 4 autonomous driving as early as 2024, but that appears unlikely at the moment.
Because of the delays, the first production Artemis car, internally called Landjet, will only start after Volkswagen's Trinity electric flagship saloon, according to company sources. That would be at the end of 2026 at the earliest, and more likely 2027. VW is currently building a new factory in Wolfsburg to produce the Trinity starting in 2026.
Audi is now said to plan the launch of a slimmed-down electric flagship, codenamed Landyacht, with a higher body shape in 2025. This particular model will not feature the autonomous driving tech that was supposed to help Audi compete with EVs from Tesla, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Instead of using 2.0 software, a further development of the intermediate 1.2 version is planned. The latter is reportedly also far behind schedule, as it was supposed to be completed in 2021.
According to the report, executives at Porsche and Audi are frustrated by the delays. Porsche has already begun pre-series production of the electric Macan at its plant in Leipzig, while Audi is planning to do the same with the Q6 e-tron in Ingolstadt at the end of the year. The problem is the software for these EVs is not finalised.
"The hardware is great. But the software is still missing."
Porsche source for Automobilwoche
Earlier this month, Cariad head Dirk Hilgenberg said the company would be streamlined in an effort to step up the pace of software development. In May, the VW Group supervisory board was reported to be demanding a reworked plan for the software division.