RE: Audi AI:Trail | Frankfurt 2019

RE: Audi AI:Trail | Frankfurt 2019

Tuesday 10th September

Audi AI:Trail | Frankfurt 2019

Defender too staid for you? Audi has just the thing...



While Land Rover's fresh take on the Defender may be the biggest off-road launch at this year's Frankfurt, that hasn't stopped Audi from trying to steal a little of its thunder. To do so it hasn't satisfied itself with merely modernising a classic, but has instead looked into the future to bring us this, the AI:trail quattro concept.

As with last year's PB18 e-tron - which has now been renamed the AI:Race for continuity - the concept aims to demonstrate the more focussed direction in which Audi believes the market may head in coming years, as ownership decreases and the ability to borrow a specific vehicle for a specific purpose results in less compromised designs. To that end the AI:Trail has been developed with the sole purpose of exploring nature, making visibility, range and off-road prowess key to its success.


The concept bears many of the features we've become accustomed to in recent years: electric propulsion, autonomous capability and... drones instead of headlights? Yep, the Trail is equipped with five triangular rotorless drones, dubbed Audi Light Pathfinders, which can(t) fly ahead of the vehicle and use their integrated matrix LED elements to light its path. Remaining on the smart light theme, the car comes equipped with the 'Audi Light Companion', a torch-like device which not only creates a customisable ambient glow, but can also be paired with the car's sat-nav to project directional symbols and written information onto a route whilst hiking.

When it comes to performance, Audi is more realistic. Thanks to its niche design brief, the stocky AI:Trail needn't make many sacrifices to on-road ability. A top speed of just 80mph belies the 435hp and 738lb ft on tap from the four wheel-mounted electric motors, with the focus instead being on an ability to operate in remote areas devoid of charging facilities. A range of 249 miles on road and 155 off it ought to do the trick...


Thanks to those four individual motors, the 33.5-inch tyres which they turn and a suite of off-road electronics, the vehicle does without differentials. The tyres themselves offer an additional 2.4 inches of suspension travel thanks to their unique sidewall design, while also packing automatic sensor-controlled air pressure regulation which adjusts to the surface as needed. Meanwhile, 13.4 inches of ground clearance still affords its plenty of go-anywhere ability, including the ability to traverse water over half a metre deep.

To ensure its occupants don't miss a thing while exploring the great outdoors, Audi has made extensive use of glass for the protruding angled windows, "helicopter-style" wrap-around windscreen and fully-glazed roof offering plenty of visibility. Despite all that glass and a big ol' slab of batteries, a mixture of high-tech steel, aluminium and carbon fibre for the rest of the car's construction results in a kerbweight of just 1,750kg - which isn't too shabby. Those materials have also allowed for the construction of one single, spacious passenger cell, the highlight of which are the hammock-like second row seats, which can even be removed for a little added comfort once in the wilderness. Plenty of interesting ideas to look forward to in the coming years, then; if this is the direction that the Audi Q-cars are headed in, then perhaps SUVs won't be quite so bad after all.










Author
Discussion

Nerdherder

Original Poster:

1,288 posts

42 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
A funky design study with no resulting consequence in the actual model range.
I like it though and it reminds me of the (different looks and different fantasy parts but same desert dwelling 'category') 1992 Renault Racoon.


NITO

673 posts

151 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
BUILD IT!

cookie1600

1,263 posts

106 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
I'm seeing a ski-lift gondola on wheels...

Ocellia

158 posts

94 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Off road? Just the thing for trips to shops, in the post-brexit desertlands?

JerryF

108 posts

119 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
How awful!

Plate spinner

13,381 posts

145 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
It’ll have no steering feel, over assisted brakes and understeer at the limit.

scottydoesntknow

110 posts

2 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Reminds me a bit of that vehicle Peter Wheeler was working on before he died.


MissChief

5,114 posts

113 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Coming to a Sci-Fi movie near you soon.

redroadster

983 posts

177 months

Tuesday 10th September
quotequote all
Lots of glass to break not really a good idea .

okenemem

469 posts

139 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
looks like another concept that they will never make

chris4652009

1,103 posts

29 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Nerdherder said:
A funky design study with no resulting consequence in the actual model range.
I like it though and it reminds me of the (different looks and different fantasy parts but same desert dwelling 'category') 1992 Renault Racoon.

amazing, I remember the Raccoon

This concept A1 looks super cool

Veeayt

2,823 posts

150 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Love it!

AshD

97 posts

194 months

Wednesday 11th September
quotequote all
Drones that fly ahead....anyone else old enough (and sad enough) to remember Automan and Cursor?

chris4652009

1,103 posts

29 months

Thursday 12th September
quotequote all
AshD said:
Drones that fly ahead....anyone else old enough (and sad enough) to remember Automan and Cursor?
I'm probably old enough, but no they don't ring any bells with me