Audi said to be moving forward with A9 flagship

Audi is said to be moving forward with its long-rumored A9 four-door coupe flagship.

Audi has made it clear that it plans to expand into virtually every niche segment, with a high-dollar four-door coupe next on the automaker's radar. More extreme in execution than the A7, the new model would likely sit above Audi's current range-topper, the A8.

According to reports out of Germany, Audi is moving forward with its long-rumored A9 four-door coupe. Porsche is said to be leading the development of the performance sedan, using its Panamera architecture as a base.

As its name implies, the A9 would hail as Audi's new range-topper, trumping the current A8. Befitting of a flagship model, A9 pricing is expected to start at about $140,000. Not only is that well above the A8's starting price, but also about on par with a top-level Porsche Panamera Turbo.

Although the A9 will have a sporty demeanor, it's possible Audi could use a hybrid-only strategy for the four door. However, that doesn't mean the A9 will be slow, with the hybrid system expected to churn out at least 500 horsepower - good enough for a top speed of 185mph.

No word on when we might see the A9 in Audi showrooms, but it's production nod signals the Lamborghini Estoque sedan isn't far behind.

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