#INTEL Report: Audi A9 Coupe and Cabriolet Planned Above A8
by, 05-02-2011 at 04:26 PM (22362 Views)
Target: Audi A9 Coupe and Cabriolet
Arrival: 2014 at earliest
Source: Michael Dick, Audi Board of Management via Georg Kacher, Automobile Magazine)
Audi has made no secret of an aggressive push to grow its model lineup and to do so, Ingolstadt is readying a dizzying mix of new models. Among scenarios being very seriously investigated is that of the Audi A9. Set to be a large coupe and convertible, the A9 would slot in at or above Audi’s A8 flagship, well above that of the current A7 in both luxury and price and right up against the Mercedes-Benz SL.
Truth be told, this isn’t the first time a large Audi coupe has been envisioned. And while cars like the D1-based A8 two-door shown by IVM back in the day stirred some interest in such a car, it was the A8-based Nuvolari Concept that truly ratcheted up the idea and nearly spawned such a car back in 2004.
When the Nuvolari did come to market in production form, it had dropped its alloy chassis and some size. It was launched as the A5 and was positioned somewhere between the A4 and the A6.
Fast forward to today and the Audi management team has been aggressively considering new models with which to grow the brand.
We must admit the A9 name came onto our radar when Kacher first wrote about it back in January. At the time, Kacher suggested the A9 would be placed on an upcoming large car component set being devised by the Volkswagen Group and dubbed MSM or MSB. That A9 was to have be due out by 2016.
Set to be a front mid-engine configuration with rear-wheel drive, MSB is primarily meant for cars such as the next-generation Porsche Panamera, as well as future product from Bentley and even Bugatti. Kacher stated back then that the addition of the A8 and an A9 to the mix would help bring volume to greatly improve efficiencies of scale that would prove quite valuable when negotiating supplier pricing for these vehicles.
Fast forward to today and we’re getting a conflicting report… also from Kacher. This time around he’s changed the story. Now, the A9 is expected by 2014 at the earliest and would be based on the current A8’s MLB architecture, but sporting completely unique bodywork and an evolution of the A8’s lavish interior.
Kacher says that the car will make use of a range of engines including the 3.0T FSI and the upcoming 4.0T FSI that could also power an S9 variant. Audi’s 3.0 TDI and 4.2 TDI diesels would also round out the offerings.
Why the change in chassis between January and April? From what we’ve found, Kacher’s connections are second to none and often on the level of the management board itself. In the story he sites Michael Dick, Audi board member and chief of development. We’re guessing it is Mr. Dick who was the source for a lot of these stories.
The up side to board contacts is that they know the furthest reaching of plans for the company. The down side is that they can always change their minds on one of those decisions and that is precisely what appears to have happened here.
Why the change from MSB to MQB? Our guess is timing as much as anything else. MSB is likely much further from production and by utilizing an evolution of a current component set, they’re able to bring the car two years earlier.
As for engines, the motors listed by Kacher are consistent with Audi’s move to downsize. There’s no mention here of an electric e-tron or even hybrid models. There is also no suggestion of big displacement engines such as the A8’s W12, but the engine would certainly fit in either chassis scenario. Personally, we’d love to see Audi use such a boldly positioned product subject to much less price sensitivity to launch a performance diesel hybrid… like an A9 4.2 TDI hybrid.
As for looks, expect Audi design to hold little back much as they did with the A5 and now the A7. When it comes to coupes, Audi has shown they’re certainly willing to take risks in order to achieve fantastic results.
Most renders we’ve seen of an A9 by outside render artists often use the Sportback as a base. Ours above is no different. Still, if the A9 is a two-door and not a four-door coupe, we highly doubt the car will have the sloped fastback of a car like the A7. Instead, we expect it to have more of an A5/S5 profile to it.
We’ve included several links ago for further reading including our previous Intel Report that included the A9, two Deep Drive reports from Kacher over on Automobile and finally a set of A9 renders by artist Theophilus Chin. Enjoy.
Full Story - First Audi A9 Report on Fourtitude
Full Story - First Audi A9 Report by Kacher on Automobile
Full Story - Second Audi A9 Report by Kacher on Automobile
More Renders - Theophilus Chin