Audi Confirms A9 Electric Flagship, One of Three EVs Out by 2020

The name won’t designate a Mercedes S-Class coupe rival, as initially suggested

While BMW is reportedly readying a challenger for Mercedes’ S-Class coupe, Audi is apparently hard at work making a sedan to rival Tesla’s Model S and other all-electric four-doors pegged to debut in the near future. The aim is to slowly migrate towards a fully electric range in coming decades.

The model, possibly called A9, would most likely look like a four-door version of the Prologue concept and according to Autocar get 500 km / 311 miles range from a battery pack of unspecified capacity.

The source quotes Audi boss Rupert Stadler as saying that “by 2020 we will have three EVs in the line-up. We’ll start with the production version of the e-tron quattro concept car, which will have a range of up to 500km. By 2025, 25% of our line-up will be battery-driven models.”

Apparently, the A9 name was initially selected to designate Audi’s own S-Class coupe challenger (previewed by Prologue), yet now it looks like it’s going to be used for the EV luxo-sedan after all.

The production vehicle will share electric drivetrain components with the upcoming Q6 e-tron. Both will use a combination of three electric motors, and if the recent e-tron Quattro concept is anything to go by, a combined output between 400 and 500 hp seems fair.

On top of this, the car(s) will also feature advanced automated driving features. These will debut on the next year’s all-new A8, the manufacturer’s first level three automated vehicle. However, the electric A9 will be even more automated, as it’s expected to be level four; that means the driver won’t have to intervene at any point during a trip, as is the case with the less advanced level three.

The all-electric Q6, previewed by the e-tron Quattro study shown at last year’s Frankfurt motor show (pictured) will be Audi's EV range icebreaker, followed by the A9 and finally by a possible smaller car, a successor to today’s A3 e-tron.