Some time ago Audi launched an ambitious project called Artemis. In an interview with German business newspaper Handelsblatt, Audi boss Markus Duesmann reveals what this project really involves: It is intended to lay the foundations for a technology that is intended to compete directly with Tesla – and to be distributed throughout the entire Volkswagen Group.
The Artemis team’s first project will be a luxury class electric sedan that will be positioned above the current flagship A8. However, Duesmann himself did not say this – the Handelsblatt newspaper claims to have heard this from Audi circles. In any case, this vehicle – project name Landjet – is to be a counter-design to the next generation of Tesla’s Model S.
According to the Handelsblatt’s analysis, this orientation is in line with other indications of a repositioning of Audi: luxury cars from BMW and Mercedes are no longer seen as main competitors, but increasingly Tesla. After the completion of Tesla’s vehicle factory under construction near Berlin, this competitive situation should become even more apparent. At any rate, the Handelsblatt continues, the head of the Audi parent company Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, declared at a conference some time ago that Tesla is the new rival – and at the same time the benchmark by which development is oriented.
This is particularly true with regard to software, which is increasingly becoming a central element for the capabilities and features of a car. As is known, Volkswagen is working flat out to develop an operating system for its cars, which will then almost certainly also be used in the vehicles of the other group brands, such as Audi, Porsche, SEAT and Skoda. However, Tesla has a significant lead, especially in the question of software architecture; Diess estimates it to be two years. The same applies to the computer platforms that enable the assistance and automatic functions in the vehicles.