Audi unveils electric off-roader concept at Frankfurt Motor Show
Pictured above is the distinctive new Audi AI:TRAIL quattro. An electric off-roader, it will join the Audi AI quartet, which also includes Audi Aicon, AI:ME and AI:RACE, at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The four-seater Audi AI:TRAIL quattro combines the capacity for automated driving with superb off-road capabilities, claims the German car manufacturer. The glass surrounding the cabin extends all the way to ground level, providing all-round visibility. The ample battery capacity ensures sufficient range even away from dense networks of charging stations, promises Audi.
The Audi AI:TRAIL quattro is the fourth entrant in the series of concept cars with electric drive systems, which began with the presentation of the Audi Aicon at the 2017 iteration of the IAA. Following this luxury-class vehicle intended for highly automated long-distance driving, an emissions-free super sports car designed for the race track, the Audi PB18 e-tron, made its debut in Pebble Beach in 2018. It has been given a new name in time for IAA 2019, gaining the shared “AI” prefix. It is now known as the AI:RACE, which leaves no illusions as to the purpose of the electric sports car.
The third in the series, the Audi AI:ME—introduced at the 2019 Auto Shanghai show—is an autonomous city car aimed at megacities all over the world. It allows its passengers to stop worrying about the stop-and-go traffic that is inevitable in urban areas, claims Audi, offering them perfect connectivity and a comprehensive range of infotainment services.
Finally, with the AI:TRAIL, Audi hopes to open up the potential applications for its visionary vehicles to include off-road terrain. The car is equipped with four electric motors, systems for assisted and automated driving and—typically for Audi—quattro permanent all-wheel drive.
The Audi AI:TRAIL is designed for driving on roads up to level 4 – the second-highest level on a standardized international scale for increasing automation. Although systems in this category do not require any assistance on the part of the driver, their function is limited to a specific area—such as highways or areas of inner cities equipped with suitable infrastructure.
Says Marc Lichte, Audi’s Head of Design:
“With the AI:TRAIL, we are showing an off-road concept with an emissions-free electric drive for an innovative driving experience away from paved roads. Consistent with this, we designed a monolithic basic vehicle body with maximum glazing to create an intense connection to the surroundings. A concept for sustainable mobility on demand.”