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Audi Building A9 Sports Coupe, May Share Platform With Lamborghini Estoque

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On: Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 2:03PM | By: Chris Weiss

Audi Building A9 Sports Coupe, May Share Platform With Lamborghini Estoque

A report out of Autocar last week points to the possibility of a new, range-topping, sporty Audi four-door coupe: the A9. The car would serve as a high-end, sports alternative to the A8 and would be positioned against competitors like the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz CL. While the potential of an A9 is good news of and in itself, it also brings some exciting implications for another VW brand: Lamborghini.

According to the report, Audi hasn't decided on the car and executives are still working up a business case for the model. One of the elements of that business case is the potential to share much of the platform—namely the aluminium spaceframe and parts of the of the modular longitudinal architecture—with Lamborghini for a sedan based on the Estoque concept.

The Estoque concept was introduced in 2008, and rumors about a possible production version have been flying ever since. Most recently, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann was quoted as supporting the idea of a sedan.

Last month, Winkelmann told Autocar: "We really have a choice when it comes to an additional model: an SUV or a four-seat four-door. And for me the SUV is a no-go. It doesn’t exist in our price segment, and it’s not a real luxury car." He added: "There are more opportunities in the segment of four-doors. If we are going to offer a third model, it could be a ‘first’ car, bringing people to our brand."

However, Winkelmann alluded to the fact that a partnership within VW would be necessary for Lamborghini to build its own sedan. And given that Lambo and Audi already share a platform between the R8 and Gallardo, Audi would seem like a perfect partner. The partnership would give both brands the momentum they need to make their respective cars viable. As not to step all over each other, the Estoque would be in a higher segment, competing with such cars as the Bentley Continental GT and Aston Martin Rapide.

While their underpinnings would be the same, each car would have its own engine. The A9 could get a new 4.0-liter V8, or possibly even a W12, while the Estoque would likely share Lamborghini's 5.2-liter V10 with the Gallardo, leaving the all new 6.5-liter V12 as an exclusive of the upcoming Aventador.


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