Key Audi, Porsche, Bentley EVs delayed by VW Group’s software woes

Audi’s Artemis project was supposed to launch a 2.0 software generation capable of hands-off Level 4 autonomous driving, as early as 2024. Now the first production Artemis car, internally called Landjet, will only start after Volkswagen’s Trinity electric flagship sedan, according to company sources. VW is building a new factory in Wolfsburg to produce the Trinity starting in 2026.

Audi’s production car from Artemis will launch at the end of 2026 at the earliest, and more likely 2027, according to the sources. 

Audi now plans to launch a slimmed-down electric flagship, codenamed Landyacht, with a higher body shape in 2025, but without autonomous driving technology that was supposed to help the brand counter competition from Tesla and German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz. 

Instead of using 2.0 software, a further development of the intermediate 1.2 version is planned. This was supposed to be completed in 2021 but it is also far behind schedule, according to sources.

Executives at Porsche and Audi are frustrated by the delays.

Audi wants to begin pre-series production of the Q6 e-tron, its upcoming Tesla Model Y rival, at its home plant in Ingolstadt, Germany, at the end of the year. Series production is now planned to start in September 2023. “We need the software for this now,” said one manager.

Porsche has already begun pre-series production of the electric Macan at its factory in Leipzig, Germany. “The hardware is great,” a Porsche source told Automobilwoche. “But the software is still missing.”

Cariad will be streamlined in an effort to step up the pace of software development, Dirk Hilgenberg, the head of the unit, told, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper earlier this month.

In May, the VW Group supervisory board was reported to be demanding a reworked plan for the automaker’s software division.

At the start of the year, VW announced a partnership with Tier One supplier Bosch to help develop the software advanced driving assistance functions, which some saw as a strategic retreat.

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