Audi plans A9 to compete with Panamera image

Premium automaker Audi is planing to introduce a four door coupe called the A9 as a competitor for the Porsche Panamera, Mercedes CL and the upcoming 2012 BMW GranCoupe.

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

“The project isn’t officially confirmed for production, but work is progressing on the business case, both at an accountancy and engineering level,” an Audi insider revealed to Autocar.

Moreover, Audi is considering an aluminum space frame 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 Estoque concept car from Lamborghini.

The lightweight structure and the air-sprung chassis it supports are based on those already used by high-end A8s, which is assembled on its own dedicated production line at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory. The new A9 will use most probably a newly developed 4.0-litre V8 and possibly a 6.3-litre W12 in top-of-the-line form.