This shadowy teaser photo is our first hint of a concept car that may preview the Audi A9. Debuting next month at the Los Angeles auto show, the as-yet unnamed Audi concept is said to bring the brand into, “a new era of design.”
The Audi concept car appears to be a glamorous four-door coupe with a dramatic, sloping roofline. Flared fenders hint at the “sportiness” and Quattro all-wheel drive that are promised for the show car, while lines from the rounded nose wrap onto the body sides. Audi claims the model shows off a “highly emotional and new design idiom” for the four-ringed brand.
It’s believed this concept is the Audi A9, a range-topping sedan that will sit at the top of the brand’s range. Automobile European bureau chief Georg Kacher first reported in 2011 on an Audi flagship called the A9, which was expected to be a larger, more glamorous version of the A8 luxury sedan with styling inspired by that of the A7 four-door coupe.
When it reaches production, the Audi A9 could be based on one of two Volkswagen Group modular platforms. It’s most likely the car will ride on the same MLB platform planned for the next-generation Audi A8, as the A9 will probably share its bones with that car. Alternatively, the Audi A9 could use the MSB-F architecture intended for large luxury cars like the next Porsche Panamera, Audi Q8 luxury crossover, and the Bentley Continental range.
The concept car is the first Audi created under the direction of Marc Lichte, who became head of Audi Design in February. Lichte joined Volkswagen in 1996 and became head of Volkswagen exterior design in 2006. His past credits include the fifth, sixth, and seventh generations of the Golf; the sixth, seventh, and eighth generations of the European Passat; and the Touareg and Phaeton.
Look for more details closer to the start of this year’s Los Angeles auto show, which opens to the media on Tuesday, November 18.