Audi working on the A9 saloon, planning to take on Porsche Panamera

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 6, 2011

Audi is working on a technologically advanced, luxuriously equipped coupé-like saloon that’s dubbed as the A9. It is expected to be positioned at the top of Audi’s lineup to rival the Mercedes-Benz CL, the Porsche Panamera, and the upcoming production version of the BMW GranCoupé concept, which will be released in early 2012.

The new four-door will be the centerpiece of a new model program that seeks to give Audi a visibly sporty sister model to the third-generation A8.

This move was also used by Audi in its lineup with the four-door A7 and seventh-generation A6. According to an Audi insider who spoke with Autocar, the project has yet to be officially confirmed to go into production but that when it comes to the business aspects such as accountancy and engineering, work is already progressing.

Enthusiasts became more interested upon hearing reports that Audi is considering an aluminum spaceframe structure and key components of the MLB (Modularen Längsbaukasten, modular longitudinal architecture) driveline architecture for the A9 to come up with a suitable basis for a production version of Lamborghini’s spectacular Estoque concept car.

The lightweight structure and the air-sprung chassis it supports are based on those already used by high-end A8s, which is built on its dedicated production line at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory.

Audi hopes that by using a common platform architecture for all three cars, it will receive added synergies for purchasing and production activities.

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