Can an autonomous vehicle be an off-roader too? Audi thinks its possible with their latest concept.
They call it the AI:Trail quattro concept. The German automaker not only made the bold claim, they added that it's their vision for a zero emissions driving in the great outdoors. It looks pretty radical too.
Unlike typical EVs feature a smooth and aerodynamic design, Audi went for totally different direction. The self-driving EV comes with huge 22-inch alloy wheels wrapped in chunky off-road tires. This gives the concept a generous ground clearance of 340mm. Meanwhile, the body itself is made of lightweight materials like high-strength steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. This allows the concept to tip scales at just 1,750 kg complete with the battery pack.
If the outside of the AI:Trail looks rugged, inside the concept has a lounge-like interior that is uncluttered and is spacious. To preserve the cabin's airy look & feel, the concept is almost devoid of physicals buttons or controls. Instead, it has a smartphone that is attached to the steering column which acts as a display and control center for the vehicle.
With an emphasis on exploring nature, the AI:Trail has a huge glass area that surrounds the cabin. It extends all the way to ground level, providing generous all-around visibility. Audi says this design allows passengers to fully enjoy the breathtaking views while the car goes about its business. In addition, both the windshield and tailgate can be opened in order for easy securing of luggage. Additional storage spaces can also be found underneath the windshield, and between the seats.
Four electric motors provide the necessary propulsion for the AI:Trail. It has a total system output of 320 kw (about 435 PS) and a whopping 1,000 Nm of torque. With each electric motor mounted on each wheel, maximum torque can easily be achieved without having the need for differentials and locks. Thanks to the lithium-ion battery pack mounted on the floor, it has an average cruising range between 400 km – 500 km on-road. Take it off-road and Audi estimated it can travel for 250 km before needing a recharge.
Will this concept actually preview an upcoming production model? It's unlikely, but we won't be surprised if the technologies used here will soon make their way in future Audi nameplates.